Bone remodeling at the iliac crest can predict the changes in remodeling dynamics, microdamage accumulation, and mechanical properties in the lumbar vertebrae of dogs

T. Mashiba, S. Hui, C. H. Turner, S. Mori, C. C. Johnston, D. B. Burr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


We previously demonstrated that suppression of bone remodeling allows microdamage to accumulate, thereby leading to reduced bone toughness in dog bone. In this study we evaluated the relationships between bone remodeling at the iliac crest and skeletal activation frequency, microdamage accumulation, or biomechanical properties of lumbar vertebrae using the same dogs to determine whether bone remodeling at the iliac crest can predict damage accumulation and mechanical parameters of the lumbar spine following treatment with antiresorptive agents. Thirty-six female beagles, 1 to 2 years old, were divided into three groups. The control group was treated daily for 12 months with saline vehicle. The remaining two groups were treated daily with oral risedronate at a dose of 0.5 mg/kg/day, or alendronate at 1.0 mg/kg/day orally. The doses of these bisphosphonates were 5 to 6 times the clinical doses approved for treatment of osteoporosis in humans. After sacrifice, the right ilium and L2 vertebra were assigned to histomorphometry. The left ilium and L3 vertebra were used for microdamage analysis. The L4 vertebra was mechanically tested to failure in compression, and bone toughness calculated from the stress-strain curve. There was a strong positive relationship for activation frequency (Ac.f) between ilium and lumbar vertebrae (r2 = 0.82; P < 0.0001). Iliac crest Ac.f underestimates Ac.f in L2, but L2 Ac.f reaches a minimum threshold and does not decline further when iliac crest Ac.f is below 0.10/yr. Microdamage (Cr.S.Dn) accumulation at the ilium was significantly associated with increased microdamage accumulation in the L3 lumbar vertebra (r2 = 0.43, P < 0.0001). The data also show that bisphosphonate treatment increased Cr.S.Dn at a faster rate in L3 than in the iliac crest. Although bisphosphonate treatment decreased bone toughness in L4, this decrease demonstrated no relationship to decreased Ac.f in the ilium. These results clearly indicate that bone remodeling data obtained from iliac crest biopsy could be used to estimate the activation frequency and microdamage burden in the vertebral column.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-185
Number of pages6
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2005



  • Biomechanics
  • Bisphosphonates
  • Bone remodeling
  • Histomorphometry
  • Iliac crest
  • Microdamage
  • Osteoporosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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