Transient peak-strain matching partially recovers the age-impaired mechanoadaptive cortical bone response

Javaheri, B and Carriero, A and Wood, M and De Souza, R and Lee, P D and Shefelbine, S and Pitsillides, A A (2018) Transient peak-strain matching partially recovers the age-impaired mechanoadaptive cortical bone response. Scientific Reports (Nature), 8. p. 6636.

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Abstract

Mechanoadaptation maintains bone mass and architecture; its failure underlies age-related decline in bone strength. It is unclear whether this is due to failure of osteocytes to sense strain, osteoblasts to form bone or insufficient mechanical stimulus. Mechanoadaptation can be restored to aged bone by surgical neurectomy, suggesting that changes in loading history can rescue mechanoadaptation. We use non-biased, whole-bone tibial analyses, along with characterisation of surface strains and ensuing mechanoadaptive responses in mice at a range of ages, to explore whether sufficient load magnitude can activate mechanoadaptation in aged bone. We find that younger mice adapt when imposed strains are lower than in mature and aged bone. Intriguingly, imposition of short-term, high magnitude loading effectively primes cortical but not trabecular bone of aged mice to respond. This response was regionally-matched to highest strains measured by digital image correlation and to osteocytic mechanoactivation. These data indicate that aged bone’s loading response can be partially recovered, non-invasively by transient, focal high strain regions. Our results indicate that old murine bone does respond to load when the loading is of sufficient magnitude, and bones’ age-related adaptation failure may be due to insufficient mechanical stimulus to trigger mechanoadaptation.

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