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Biomaterials. 2014 Nov;35(34):9290-301. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.07.051. Epub 2014 Aug 13.

The influence of age on adaptive bone formation and bone resorption.

Author information

1
Julius Wolff Institut, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany; Berlin-Brandenburg School for Regenerative Therapies GSC 203, Germany.
2
Julius Wolff Institut, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany.
3
Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476 Potsdam, Germany.
4
Julius Wolff Institut, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: bettina.willie@charite.de.

Abstract

Bone is a tissue with enormous adaptive capacity, balancing resorption and formation processes. It is known that mechanical loading shifts this balance towards an increased formation, leading to enhanced bone mass and mechanical performance. What is not known is how this adaptive response to mechanical loading changes with age. Using dynamic micro-tomography, we show that structural adaptive changes of trabecular bone within the tibia of living mice subjected to two weeks of in vivo cyclic loading are altered by aging. Comparisons of 10, 26 and 78 weeks old animals reveal that the adaptive capacity diminishes. Strikingly, adaptation was asymmetric in that loading increases formation more than it reduces resorption. This asymmetry further shifts the (re)modeling balance towards a net bone loss with age. Loading results in a major increase in the surface area of mineralizing bone. Interestingly, the resorption thickness is independent of loading in trabecular bone in all age groups. This data suggests that during youth, mechanical stimulation induces the recruitment of bone modeling cells whereas in old age, only bone forming cells are affected. These findings provide mechanistic insights into the processes that guide skeletal aging in mice as well as in other mammals.

KEYWORDS:

Adaptation; Aging; Bone remodeling; Image analysis; Microstructure

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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