Decreased activity or expression of sclerostin, an endogenous inhibitor of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, results in increased bone formation and mass. Antibodies targeting and neutralizing sclerostin (Scl-Ab) have been shown to increase bone mass and reduce fracture risk. Sclerostin is also important in modulating the response of bone to changes in its biomechanical environment. However, the effects of Scl-Ab on mechanotransduction are unclear, and it was speculated that the loading response may be altered for individuals receiving Scl-Ab therapy.
Connexin43 (Cx43) is the main gap junction protein expressed in bone forming cells, where it modulates peak bone mass acquisition and cortical modeling. Genetic ablation of the Cx43 gene (Gja1) results in cortical expansion with accentuated periosteal bone formation associated with decreased expression of the Wnt inhibitor sclerostin.
Osteocytes sense loading in bone, but their mechanosensation mechanisms remain poorly understood. Plasma membrane disruptions (PMD) develop with loading under physiological conditions in many cell types (e.g., myocytes, endothelial cells). These PMD foster molecular flux across cell membranes that promotes tissue adaptation, but this mechanosensation mechanism had not been explored in osteocytes. Our goal was to investigate whether PMD occur and initiate consequent mechanotransduction in osteocytes during physiological loading.
Postmenopausal osteoporosis is often treated with bisphosphonates (eg, alendronate, [ALN]), but oversuppression of bone turnover by long-term bisphosphonate treatment may decrease bone tissue heterogeneity. Thus, alternate treatment strategies after long-term bisphosphonates are of great clinical interest. The objective of the current study was to determine the effect of intermittent parathyroid hormone (PTH) following 12 weeks of ALN (a bisphosphonate) treatment in 6-month-old, ovariectomized (OVX) rats on bone microarchitecture, bone remodeling dynamics, and bone mechanical properties at multiple length scales.
Aging diminishes bone formation engendered by mechanical loads, but the mechanism for this impairment remains unclear. Because Wnt signaling is required for optimal loading-induced bone formation, we hypothesized that aging impairs the load-induced activation of Wnt signaling.
Bone geometry and tissue material properties jointly govern whole-bone structural behavior. While the role of geometry in structural behavior is well characterized, the contribution of the tissue material properties is less clear, partially due to the multiple tissue constituents and hierarchical levels at which these properties can be characterized. Our objective was to elucidate the contribution of the mineral phase to bone mechanical properties across multiple length scales, from the tissue material level to the structural level.