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Bone loss from high repetitive high force loading is prevented by ibuprofen treatment.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Temple University School of Medicine, 3500 North Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19140.


We examined roles of loading and inflammation on forearm bones in a rat model of upper extremity overuse. Trabecular structure in distal radius and ulna was examined in three groups of young adult rats: 1) 5% food-restricted that underwent an initial training period of 10 min/day for 5 weeks to learn the repetitive task (TRHF); 2) rats that underwent the same training before performing a high repetition high force task, 2 hours/day for 12 weeks (HRHF); and 3) food-restricted only (FRC). Subsets were treated with oral ibuprofen (IBU). TRHF rats had increased trabecular bone volume and numbers, osteoblasts, and serum osteocalcin, indicative of bone adaptation. HRHF rats had constant muscle pulling forces, showed limited signs of bone adaptation, but many signs of bone resorption, including decreased trabecular bone volume and bone mineral density, increased osteoclasts and bone inflammatory cytokines, and reduced median nerve conduction velocity (15%). HRHF+IBU rats showed no trabecular resorptive changes, no increased osteoclasts or bone inflammatory cytokines, no nerve inflammation, preserved nerve conduction, and increased muscle voluntary pulling forces. Ibuprofen treatment preserved trabecular bone quality by reducing osteoclasts and bone inflammatory cytokines, and improving muscle pulling forces on bones as a result of reduced nerve inflammation.

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