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Technol Health Care. 2000;8(5):267-75.

Phenotypical characterization of c-kit receptor deficient mouse femora using non-destructive high-resolution imaging techniques and biomechanical testing.

Author information

1
Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA. ecindik@hsph.harvard.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Pathological processes in bone can lead to fatal health consequences. Therefore, it is important to study factors that possibly influence the activity of bone cells. The mast cell is a normal component of bone, storing and producing many potent bioactive substances. One of the most important factors to influence mast cell number, function, and phenotype is the c-kit ligand. A defect of the c-kit receptor leads to mast cell deficiency. In literature oversight, evidence for the importance of mast cells in skeletal homeostasis is compiled.

METHODS:

To investigate the influence of c-kit receptor deficiency on bone mass, geometry, microstructure, and strength, 30 femora of profoundly c-kit receptor deficient mouse mutants and 30 control group animals aged 8-20 weeks were phenotypically characterized using peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT), micro-computed tomography (microCT) and 3-point-bending.

RESULTS:

The femora of the c-kit receptor and therefore mast cell deficient animals were significantly altered in bone mass and geometry but not in bone density and microstructure. The mutants had a lighter femur with a thinner shape. The lower load bearing capacity of the femora of mast cell deficient mouse mutants is more likely explained by the smaller amount of bone material than due to a change in intrinsic material properties.

TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS:

With the little dimensions of mouse bones, it is of prime importance to have precise methods to phenotypically characterize the bone. The pQCT allows the separate assessment and analysis of trabecular and cortical bone density, as well as a statement about bone geometry. Beyond it, the microCT-technique delivers a 3-D analysis of bone microstructure, which so far was only achieved with 2-D histomorphometry. microCT is an efficient alternative to destructive histological preparations allowing further biomechanical testing of the same specimens to also deliver measures for bone strength.

PMID:
11204172
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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