Mapping Regional Cortical Bone Responses to Local Changes in Loading and Systemic Stimuli.

Windahl, S H and Delisser, P J and Galea, G L (2020) Mapping Regional Cortical Bone Responses to Local Changes in Loading and Systemic Stimuli. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2221. pp. 275-289. ISSN 1940-6029

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Quantification of cortical bone mass and architecture using μCT is commonplace in osteoporosis and osteoarthritis research. Different groups often report substantially divergent mouse cortical bone responses to nominally comparable interventions. In the case of studies assessing bones' responses to externally applied loading, these differences are commonly associated with methodological differences in the loading regime. This chapter describes a widely published, standardized method of in vivo mouse tibia axial loading to produce lamellar bone formation. Despite uniform application of axial loading, changes in bone mass are highly site-specific within individual bones. For example, the mouse proximal tibia rapidly accrues new bone following axial loading, but this osteogenic response tapers to produce undetectable differences distally. Consequently, the bone sites selected for comparisons substantially influence the magnitude of differences observed. Application of the freely available Site Specificity software allows site-specific responses to be identified by rapidly quantifying cortical bone mass at each 1% site along the bone's length. This high-content screening tool has been informatively applied to study the local effects of changes in loading as well as systemic interventions including hormonal treatment and aging. Automated multisite analyses of cortical mass is increasingly identifying site-specific effects of "systemic" interventions such as global gene deletions. Biological mechanisms underlying this apparent regionalization of cortical responses are largely unknown but may start to be elucidated by increasingly widespread application of Site Specificity methods.

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