Compressive loading of the murine tibia reveals site-specific micro-scale differences in adaptation and maturation rates of bone

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Summary: Loading increases bone mass and strength in a site-specific manner; however, possible effects of loading on bone matrix composition have not been evaluated. Site-specific structural and material properties of mouse bone were analyzed on the macro- and micro/molecular scale in the presence and absence of axial loading. The response of bone to load is heterogeneous, adapting at molecular, micro-, and macro-levels. Introduction: Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease resulting in reduced bone mineral density, structure, and strength. The overall aim was to explore the hypothesis that changes in loading environment result in site-specific adaptations at molecular/micro- and macro-scale in mouse bone. Methods: Right tibiae of adult mice were subjected to well-defined cyclic axial loading for 2 weeks; left tibiae were used as physiologically loaded controls. The bones were analyzed with μCT (structure), reference point indentation (material properties), Raman spectroscopy (chemical), and small-angle X-ray scattering (mineral crystallization and structure). Results: The cranial and caudal sites of tibiae are structurally and biochemically different within control bones. In response to loading, cranial and caudal sites increase in cortical thickness with reduced mineralization (−14 and −3%, p < 0.01, respectively) and crystallinity (−1.4 and −0.3%, p < 0.05, respectively). Along the length of the loaded bones, collagen content becomes more heterogeneous on the caudal site and the mineral/collagen increases distally at both sites. Conclusion: Bone structure and composition are heterogeneous, finely tuned, adaptive, and site-specifically responsive at the micro-scale to maintain optimal function. Manipulation of this heterogeneity may affect bone strength, relative to specific applied loads.


  • I. Bergström
  • J. G. Kerns
  • A. E. Törnqvist
  • C. Perdikouri
  • N. Mathavan
  • A. Koskela
  • H. B. Henriksson
  • J. Tuukkanen
  • G. Andersson
  • H. Isaksson
  • A. E. Goodship
  • S. H. Windahl
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Karolinska University Hospital
  • Lancaster University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Oulu
  • Sahlgrenska University Hospital
  • Göteborgs universitet
  • University of Bristol
  • Royal National Orthopedic Hospital

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Ortopedi


Sidor (från-till)1121-1131
TidskriftOsteoporosis International
Utgåva nummer3
Tidigt onlinedatum2016 dec 5
StatusPublished - 2017 mar
Peer review utfördJa