Structural and cellular differences between metaphyseal and diaphyseal periosteum in different aged rats

Bone Tissue Engineering Lab., Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove Campus, Brisbane, Qld 4059, Australia.
Bone (Impact Factor: 4.46). 04/2008; 42(1):81-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.bone.2007.08.048
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In both physiological and pathological processes, periosteum plays a determinant role in bone formation and fracture healing. However, no specific report is available so far focusing on the detailed structural and major cellular differences between the periostea covering different bone surface in relation to ageing. The aim of this study is to compare the structural and cellular differences in diaphyseal and metaphyseal periostea in different aged rats using histological and immunohistochemical methods. Four female Lewis rats from each group of juvenile (7 weeks old), mature (7 months old) and aged groups (2 years old) were sacrificed and the right femur of each rat was retrieved, fixed, decalcified and embedded. Five-micrometer thick serial sagittal sections were cut and stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin, Stro-1 (stem cell marker), F4/80 (macrophage marker), TRAP (osteoclast marker) and vWF (endothelial cell marker). One-millimeter lengths of middle diaphyseal and metaphyseal periosteum were selected for observation. The thickness, total cell number and positive cell number for each antibody were measured and compared in each periosteal area and different aged groups. The results were subjected to two-way ANOVA and SNK tests. The results showed that the thickness and cell number in diaphyseal periosteum decreased with age (p<0.001). In comparison with diaphyseal area, the thickness and cell number in metaphyseal periosteum were much higher (p<0.001). There were no significant differences between the juvenile and aged groups in the thickness and cell number in the cambial layer of metaphyseal periosteum (p>0.05). However, the juvenile rats had more Stro1(+), F4/80(+) cells and blood vessels and fewer TRAP(+) cells in different periosteal areas compared with other groups (p<0.001). The aged rats showed much fewer Stro1(+) cells, but more F4/80(+), TRAP(+) cells and blood vessels in the cambial layer of metaphyseal periosteum (p<0.001). In conclusion, structure and cell population of periosteum appear to be both age-related and site-specific. The metaphyseal periosteum of aged rats seems more destructive than diaphyseal part and other age groups. Macrophages in the periosteum may play a dual important role in osteogenesis and osteoclastogenesis.

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