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Effects of mechanical stimuli on structure and organization of bone nanocomposites in rats with glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis



Objective. Clinical use of glucocorticoids is a frequent cause of secondary osteoporosis, which reduces the mineral density of bones and results in pathological fractures. Mechanical stimulation as non-physiological high-frequency vibration with low acceleration prevents the loss of a crystalline component and stimulates the anabolic remodeling of the bone. The aim of the present research was to assess the impact of mechanical vibration on the bone structure in rats, which received glucocorticoids.

Methods. Wistar rats were randomized into three groups: Vehicle control (Veh), Methylprednisolone sodium succinate (Mps), and Mps combined with whole-body vibration (WBV). Rats of Mps+WBV and Mps groups received 3 mg/kg/day of methylprednisolone every other day for 24 weeks and rats of Veh group received 0.9% saline (sodium chloride). The group of rats Mps+WBV was subjected to WBV for 30 minutes per day for five days a week with parameters 0.3 g and frequency 50 Hz. Relative amount of crystalline component and collagen in the bones was determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and calcium level – by atomic absorption spectroscopy. Bone tissue metabolism was assessed by determining the concentration of markers, in particular osteocalcin and Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP5b).

Results. Glucocorticoids induced a considerable increase in the rats body mass (+13%) and decreased the content of mineral component in the femoral neck (–17%) in Mps group compared with Veh. The process of the bone metabolism was significantly accelerated, which is proven by an increased level of remodeling markers. It should be mentioned that WBV did not allow significant decrease in mineral component of the bone to 16th week of the experiment compared with Mps group, although these parameters did not achieve the indices in the Vehicle control group (–10%). Our investigation allows to suggest that mechanical high-frequency vibration of low intensity can partially inhibit the harmful consequences of glucocorticoids on bone structure in rats. Despite the positive impact of vibration on the bone tissue after Mps introduction in the 8th–16th week, this influence was not statistically reliable in the 24th week of the experiment.

Conclusions. The results of our investigation on animal model indicate that non-physiological vertical mechanical vibrations are an effective means to prevent loss of a mineral bone component during treatment with glucocorticoids.