The Effects of Bone Remodeling Inhibition by Alendronate on Three-Dimensional Microarchitecture of Subchondral Bone Tissues in Guinea Pig Primary Osteoarthrosis

Orthopedic Research Laboratory, Department of Orthopedics, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
Calcified Tissue International (Impact Factor: 2.75). 02/2008; 82(1):77-86. DOI: 10.1007/s00223-007-9093-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We assessed whether increase of subchondral bone density enhances cartilage stress during impact loading, leading to progressive cartilage degeneration and accelerated osteoarthrosis (OA) progression. Sixty-six male guinea pigs were randomly divided into six groups. During a 9-week treatment period, four groups received twice-weekly subcutaneous injections of alendronate (ALN) in two doses: two groups received 10 microg/kg and two groups received 50 microg/kg. The two control groups received vehicle. After 9 weeks, one 10 microg/kg ALN group, one 50 microg/kg ALN group, and one control group were killed. The remaining three groups (17-week groups) were left for an additional 8 weeks, receiving the same treatment regimen before death. The left proximal tibiae were scanned by micro-computed tomography to quantify the microarchitecture of subchondral bone, followed by mechanical testing and determination of collagen and mineral. The control groups had typical OA-related cartilage degeneration at 9 and 17 weeks, whereas the 50 microg/kg ALN group had even worse degeneration in the medial condyle. It is unclear whether there is a direct or a secondary effect of ALN on the cartilage. The 9-week ALN group had significantly greater subchondral plate thickness. The 9- and 17-week groups had similar changes of cancellous bone microarchitecture, with greater volume fraction and connectivity and an extremely plate-like structure. The 9-week ALN group had greater bone mineral concentration, and the 17-week ALN group had reduced collagen concentration and greater mineral concentration. Treatment with ALN did not significantly change the mechanical properties of the cancellous bone.

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