5 years ago

An In Vivo Model of a Mechanically-Induced Bone Marrow Lesion

Bone marrow lesions (BMLs) are radiologic abnormalities in magnetic resonance images of subchondral bone that are correlated with osteoarthritis. Little is known about the physiologic processes within a BML, although BMLs are associated with mechanical stress, bone tissue microdamage and increased bone remodeling. Here we establish a rabbit model to study the pathophysiology of BMLs. We hypothesized that in vivo loads that generate microdamage in cancellous bone would also create BMLs and increase bone remodeling. In vivo cyclic loading (0.2 to 2.0 MPa in compression for 10,000 cycles at 2 Hz) was applied to epiphyseal cancellous bone in the distal femurs of New Zealand white rabbits (n=3, right limb loaded, left limb controls experienced surgery but no loading). Magnetic resonance images were collected using short tau inversion recovery (STIR) and T1 weighted sequences at 1 and 2 weeks after surgery/loading and histological analysis of the BML was performed after euthanasia to examine tissue microdamage and remodeling. Loaded limbs displayed BMLs while control limbs showed only a small BML-like signal caused by surgery. Histological analysis of the BML at 2 weeks after loading showed increased tissue microdamage (p=0.03) and bone resorption (p=0.01) as compared to controls. The model described here displays the hallmarks of load-induced BMLs, supporting the use of the model to examine changes in bone during the development, progression and treatment of BMLs.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0021929017304888

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