Alteration in the mechanical competence and structural properties in the femoral neck and vertebrae of ovariectomized rats.J Bone Miner Res. 1999 Apr; 14(4):616-23.JB
The structural and mechanical properties of bone in the femoral neck and various other sites were investigated in intact (INT), sham-operated (Sham), and ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Six weeks after operation, the maximal load and energy absorption of the femoral neck were significantly lower in the OVX than in the INT or Sham groups, being 73.2 +/- 1.4 (SE) N, 86.3 +/- 4.1 N, and 87.1 +/- 3.2 N, respectively (p < 0.01) for load. The total cross-sectional area of the femoral neck did not change after OVX, but the marrow cavity area was enlarged, leading to a reduced bone area (including both cortical and trabecular bone) (p < 0.01). Histomorphometric analysis showed that new bone formation could not be detected at the periosteum of the femoral neck below the femoral head, but at the endocortical surfaces the double tetracycline labeling revealed an increased mineral apposition rate (MAR) and bone formation rate (BFR) in OVX animals (p < 0.001). In contrast, MAR and BFR were significantly increased in both periosteal and endocortical surfaces of the tibia, humerus, and femoral shaft, thus preventing a decrease in cortical bone area. The maximal bending loads of the tibia and humerus were not different in the various groups of animals. The correlation coefficient between maximal load and bone area revealed positive relationships in the femoral neck (r = 0.54, p < 0.01), tibia (r = 0.46, p < 0.01), and humerus (r = 0.51, p < 0.01). Ovariectomy resulted in a decreased trabecular bone volume of lumbar vertebra VI (L6) decreased compressive loads of lumbar vertebrae I, III, and IV. These lumbar bone loads were positively related to their L6 bone area (L4/L6: r = 0.66, p < 0.001). Element analyses (energy dispersion spectrometer) from trabecular and cortical areas of bone showed some changes related to aging but not to OVX. These results indicate that ovariectomy influences the biomechanical properties of rat bone by changing structural properties rather than material ones.