The importance of the intracortical canal network for murine bone mechanics.

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Animals, Biomechanical Phenomena, Bone and Bones, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Regression Analysis

JAX Source

Bone 2013 Mar; 53(1):120-8.





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As shown by recent data bone strength estimation can greatly be improved by including microarchitectural parameters in the analysis. Our previous results showed that intracortical canals (the living space of the vasculature and/or remodeling units) are a major contributor to cortical tissue porosity, and therefore, can be linked to mechanical bone properties. Consequently, the goal of this study was to investigate the importance of the intracortical canal network for murine bone mechanics. To study intracortical canals within murine femoral bone, we used a mouse model, including two mouse strains, C57BL/6J-Ghrhr(lit)/J (B6-lit/+) and C3.B6-Ghrhr(lit)/J (C3.B6-lit/+) representing low and high bone mass, respectively. The intracortical canal network was assessed by synchrotron radiation-based micro-computed tomography and the mechanical bone properties were derived from three-point bending experiments. Multiple linear regression models were built to explain the variation in ultimate force, work to fracture, and stiffness in terms of the morphometric parameters. The power to explain the variation in bone mechanics was increased significantly for most mechanical measures when including morphometric parameters of intracortical canals in addition to macroscopic morphometric measures. Specifically, we could derive generalized (mouse strain-independent) models for ultimate force, where the incorporation of intracortical canals in addition to macroscopic bone measures improved the explained variation in ultimate force considerably, which was confirmed by an increase in adjusted R(2) of 73% and 8% for B6-lit/+ and C3.B6-lit/+, respectively. Further, we observed that the heterogeneity of the morphometric measures for the individual canal branches play an important role for explaining the variation in ultimate force. Finally, the current study provides strong evidence that work to fracture of murine bone, which is triggered critically by microcracks, is affected by intracortical canals. In summary, the study suggests that the intracortical canal network is important for bone mechanics. Bone 2013 Mar; 53(1):120-8.