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Calcif Tissue Int. 2006 Feb;78(2):113-22. Epub 2006 Jan 6.

Age-related three-dimensional microarchitectural adaptations of subchondral bone tissues in guinea pig primary osteoarthrosis.

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Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Orthopedics, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus C, Denmark.


We explored potential mechanisms of the microarchitectural adaptations of subchondral bone tissues in a guinea pig primary osteoarthrosis (OA) model. We harvested proximal tibiae of male Dunkin-Hartley (Charles River strain) guinea pigs at 3, 6, 9, 12, and 24 months of age (10 in each group). These proximal tibiae were scanned by micro-computed tomography to quantify the three-dimensional microarchitecture of the subchondral plate, cancellous bone, and cortical bone. Subsequently, the bones were compression-tested to determine their mechanical properties. Furthermore, bone collagen, bone mineral, and bone density were determined. Mankin's score corresponded to OA grading from absent or minimal cartilage degeneration in 3-month-old to severe degeneration in 24-month-old guinea pigs. In young guinea pigs, the volume fraction and thickness of the subchondral plate markedly increased from 3 to 6 months, whereas the volume fraction of the subchondral cancellous bone displayed an initial decline followed by an increase. With age, the trabeculae increased in thickness, changed from rod-like to plate-like, and became more axially oriented. An increasing ratio of bone collagen to mineral in subchondral bone indicated undermineralized bone tissues. In subchondral cancellous bone, Young's modulus was maximal at 6 months of age, whereas ultimate stress and failure energy showed a gradual increase with age. The findings show pronounced alterations of the microarchitecture and bone matrix composition of the subchondral bone. These alterations did not appear to follow the same pattern as in normal aging and may have different influences on the resulting mechanical properties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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