Spatiotemporal responses of trabecular and cortical bone to complete spinal cord injury in skeletally mature rats

Jonathan A. Williams, Carmen Huesa, James F.C. Windmill, Mariel Purcell, Stuart Reid, Sylvie Coupaud, John S. Riddell

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Abstract

Objective: Characterise the spatiotemporal responses of trabecular and cortical bone to complete spinal cord injury (SCI) in the skeletally mature rat in the acute (4-week) period following injury. Methods: The spinal cord of 5-month old male rats was transected at the T9 level. Outcome measures were assessed using micro-computed tomography, three-point bending and serum markers at 1-, 2-, and 4-weeks post-transection. Comparison was made with time-0 and sham animals. Results: Lower levels of circulating serum bone formation markers and higher bone resorption markers suggested uncoupled bone turnover as early at 1-week post-transection. Micro-computed tomography showed metaphyseal and epiphyseal trabecular bone loss was observed only at 4-weeks post-transection. The bone loss was site-specific with a more severe reduction in trabecular BV/TV observed in the metaphyseal (50%) relative to epiphyseal (19%) region. Metaphyseal trabecular bone exhibited a 54% reduction in connectivity density while the epiphyseal trabecular bone was unaffected. Cortical bone deficits were not seen over the time periods examined. Conclusions: The study demonstrates that the skeletally mature spinal cord transected rat model replicates the biphasic pattern of osteoporotic changes observed in the human SCI population, providing a relevant model for testing the efficacy of interventions against SCI-induced osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101592
Number of pages10
JournalBone Reports
Volume16
Early online date21 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • spinal cord injury
  • skeletally mature
  • osteoporosis
  • microCT
  • bone morphometry
  • mechanical testing

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