Role of Osteoclast in Preferential Alignment of Biological Apatite (BAp) in Long Bones
Absorption and formation of hard tissues are repeated in vivo by the activity of osteoclast and osteoblast, respectively. The preferential alignment of BAp or collagen fibril is thought to be closely related to the activity of the bone cells. In this study, changes in bone mineral density (BMD) and preferential alignment of biological apatite (BAp) were examined focusing on the role of osteoblast using the model of osteopetrotic (op/op) mice in which osteoblast activity was normal but the expression of osteoclast was reduced. Osteopetrotic (op/op) mice and their normal littermates aged 5, 12 and 24 weeks were analyzed. The BMD and BAp texture of femoral diaphysis were measured using peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) and a microbeam X-ray diffractometer system with a 50 µmφ diameter beam spot respectively. The decrease in osteoclast expression induced both the reduction of the skeletal system and calcification of the medullary cavity, which are typical features of osteopetrosis. As a result, the shape, BMD and preferential BAp alignment of the femur in the op/op mice were remarkably different from those in the control group. At the center of the femoral diaphysis, BMD in the cortical area showed no significant difference between the two groups, but preferential alignment of the BAp c-axis in the op/op mice group had a lower value than that in the control group. This suggests that the decrease in the number of osteoclasts suppresses normal remodeling, resulting in a decrease in bone quality, especially the preferential alignment of the BAp c-axis.
Yukichi Umakoshi and Shinji Fujimoto
J. W. Lee et al., "Role of Osteoclast in Preferential Alignment of Biological Apatite (BAp) in Long Bones", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 512, pp. 265-268, 2006