Age-dependent effect of limb immobilization and remobilization on rat bone
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The effect of unilateral hindlimb immobilization and subsequent free remobilization on bone tissue in rats was examined. Right hindlimb of intensively growing (G), young adult (Y) and adult (A) male rats was immobilized by taping for two weeks. Bone tissue was investigated post mortem in experimental and age-matched control rats, either directly after immobilization (Imm) or after two or four weeks of remobilization (Re2, Re4). Apparent density (dapp) and mineralization (Min) were estimated in femora and pelvis. The mechanical state of bone tissue in femora was evaluated using an ultrasonic method. Additionally, activity of serum alkaline phosphatase, and serum calcium and phosphorus were measured in each group. Min and dapp in Imm bones were changed in G rats, while in Y and A only dapp in Imm femora was affected. Velocity of ultrasound was significantly lower in immobilized femora in each age group, indicating decreased elasticity of bone tissue. The differences between immobilized and control limbs were still significant in Re2 and Re4 groups in G rats. In Y rats the differences between experimental and control bones increased during remobilization. It is concluded that deterioration of bone initiated during two weeks of unloading, last within at least four weeks of free remobilization, despite restoration of normal activity.
Publication order reference
H. Trebacz, Department of Biophysics, Medical University of Lublin, Raclawickie Ave. 1, 20-059 Lublin, Poland