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The Effects of Estrogen Deficiency and Bisphosphonate Treatment on Tissue Mineralisation and Stiffness in an Ovine Model of Osteoporosis

Brennan, Orlaith and Kennedy, OD and Lee, TC and Rackard, SM and O'Brien, FJ and McNamara, LM and Gasser, Juerg Andreas (2011) The Effects of Estrogen Deficiency and Bisphosphonate Treatment on Tissue Mineralisation and Stiffness in an Ovine Model of Osteoporosis. Journal of Biomechanics or Bone, 44 (3). pp. 386-390. ISSN 0021-9290


While much research has been dedicated to understanding the disease of osteoporosis, the nature of mineral distribution and the mechanical property variation in diseased bone is poorly understood. A poor awareness of these differences may limit the accuracy of existing approaches to fracture prediction and treatment of the disease. The current study aims to determine the effect of estrogen deficiency and zoledronic acid therapy on bone tissue properties, specifically mineralisation and stiffness across the width of individual trabeculae using an ovine model. The degree of mineralisation of bone tissue from control, ovariectomised (OVX) sheep and OVX sheep following zoledronic acid treatment was determined using quantitative backscatter electron imaging at specific locations across the width of individual trabeculae. Tissue stiffness was measured using nanoindentation at the same locations.
This study found that the spatial distribution of tissue stiffness and mineral in bone from ovariectomised animals was similar to control. However, ovariectomy significantly reduced the overall mineralisation and tissue stiffness relative to the control group after 12 months. Interestingly, this significant difference was not maintained 31 months post-OVX. Treatment with zoledronic acid altered the normal variation in mineralisation and stiffness, and mineralisation and tissue stiffness were increased relative to both the ovariectomised and control groups. This study provides evidence that both estrogen deficiency and zoledronic acid therapy significantly alter mineralisation and the mechanical properties of trabecular tissue. Zoledronic acid was also found to alter the mineral and stiffness gradients normally associated with healthy bone tissue. These findings could have implications for the development of future treatments for osteoporosis.

Item Type: Article
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Keywords: sheep, osteoporosis, zoledronic acid, Mineral Density Profile, Material properties
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Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2015 13:16
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2015 13:16


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