The development of a small animal model for assessing the 3D implications of loading on bone microarchitecture
Britz, Hayley M
It is well established that bone is capable of adapting to changes in its environment; however, little is known regarding how environmental stimuli, specifically loading, are associated with the internal 3D microarchitecture of cortical bone. The aim of this thesis was to develop a small animal model that can be used to experimentally test hypotheses regarding bone adaptation. High resolution micro-CT was validated and employed as a novel method for the visualization and quantification of rat cortical bone microarchitecture in 3D. The use of this imaging method allowed for the measurement of primary vascular canal orientation in 3D, which had never been achieved before. Using this measure along with an immobilization model for unloading allowed me to test how loading is associated with the orientation of these vascular canals. Normally ambulating rat bones (from 10 female rats) had a canal structure that was 9.9° more longitudinal than their immobilized counterparts. This finding that loading has an effect on primary canal orientation brought to light the need to induce remodeling and therefore, secondary vascular canals, in the rat to increase its novelty as a model for looking at bone adaptation. Remodeling was induced by increasing the calcium demands of female rats, either through a calcium restricted diet (n=2) or pregnancy and lactation coupled with a calcium restricted diet (n=2). Mean cortical thickness for the calcium restricted rats and the pregnant and lactating rats that were on a calcium restricted diet were 622 µm and 419 µm, respectively. The mean BMU count for calcium restricted rats seemed to be higher than that of the pregnant and lactating rats; however, the calcium restricted rats seemed to have a lower BMU density. Once this full-scale study is executed the rat will provide a more representative model for studying human bone adaptation.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentAnatomy and Cell Biology
ProgramAnatomy and Cell Biology
CommitteeGilbert, P.; Kontulainen, S.; Verge, V.
cortical bone microarchitecture