Lasting organ-level bone mechanoadaptation is unrelated to local strain

Javaheri, B and Razi, H and Gohin, S and Wylie, S and Chang, Y M and Salmon, P and Lee, P D and Pitsillides, A A (2020) Lasting organ-level bone mechanoadaptation is unrelated to local strain. Science Advances, 6 (10).

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Bones adapt to mechanical forces according to strict principles predicting straight shape. Most bones are, however, paradoxically curved. To solve this paradox, we used computed tomography–based, four-dimensional imaging methods and computational analysis to monitor acute and chronic whole-bone shape adaptation and remodeling in vivo. We first confirmed that some acute load-induced structural changes are reversible, adhere to the linear strain magnitude regulation of remodeling activities, and are restricted to bone regions in which marked antiresorptive actions are evident. We make the novel observation that loading exerts significant lasting modifications in tibial shape and mass across extensive bone regions, underpinned by (re)modeling independent of local strain magnitude, occurring at sites where the initial response to load is principally osteogenic. This is the first report to demonstrate that bone loading stimulates nonlinear remodeling responses to strain that culminate in greater curvature adjusted for load predictability without sacrificing strength.