Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Medicine

First Committee Member

Brian Chrzan

Second Committee Member

Karl Kingsley

Third Committee Member

Jessica Immonen

Fourth Committee Member

Jennifer Pharr

Number of Pages



Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. Recent research has shown that SSRIs can effect bone metabolism; however, the exact mechanism is not fully known. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects on human osteoblasts (G -292) following exposure to varying concentrations of the four most commonly prescribed SSRIs including: citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and paroxetine (Paxil). Specifically, we assessed viability, caspase activity (Caspase 3/7, 8 and 9), bcl-2 expression and bax expression. Our results show that cell viability was effected by all drugs, except citalopram, in a concentration dependent manner. Caspase 3/7 activity was increased at 50 μM for sertraline and 80 μM for fluoxetine and paroxetine. Results for caspase 8 and caspase 9 activity were inconclusive. Bcl-2 protein expression appeared to increase at 50 μM in citalopram and fluoxetine and decreased in sertraline and paroxetine; however, experiments were not sufficient to determine statistical significance. Citalopram appears to have less effects on bone metabolism compared to other SSRIs. This preliminary in vitro study suggests citalopram is the antidepressant of choice for treating patients who are also at risk for altered bone homeostasis, including osteoporosis.


Osteoblasts; Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)


Biology | Dentistry | Medical Pharmacology | Pharmacology | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

File Format


File Size

3400 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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