How PTH Affects Cortical Bone Strength and Composition

Gardinier JD, Al-Omaishi S, Rostami N, Morris MD, Kohn DH. Examining the influence of PTH(1-34) on tissue strength and composition. Bone. 2018 Dec;117:130-137

Abstract: The lacunar-canaliculi system is a network of channels that is created and maintained by osteocytes as they are embedded throughout cortical bone. As osteocytes modify their lacuna space, the local tissue composition and tissue strength are subject to change. Although continual exposure to parathyroid hormone (PTH) can induce adaptation at the lacunar wall, the impact of intermittent PTH treatment on perilacunar adaptation remains unclear. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to establish how intermittent PTH(1-34) treatment influences perilacunar adaptation with respect to changes in tissue composition. We hypothesized that local changes in tissue composition following PTH(1-34) are associated with corresponding gains in tissue strength and resistance to microdamage at the whole bone level. Adult male C57BL/6J mice were treated daily with PTH(1-34) or vehicle for 3 weeks. In response to PTH(1-34), Raman spectroscopy revealed a significant decrease in the carbonate-to-phosphate ratio and crystallinity across the entire tissue, while the mineral-to-matrix ratio demonstrated a significant decrease in just the perilacunar region. The shift in perilacunar composition largely explained the corresponding increase in tissue strength, while the degree of new tissue added at the endosteum and periosteum did not produce any significant changes in cortical area or moment of inertia that would explain the increase in tissue strength. Furthermore, fatigue testing revealed a greater resistance to crack formation within the existing tissue following PTH(1-34) treatment. As a result, the shift in perilacunar composition presents a unique mechanism by which PTH(1-34) produces localized differences in tissue quality that allow more energy to be dissipated under loading, thereby increasing tissue strength and resistance to microdamage. In addition, our findings demonstrate the potential for PTH(1-34) to amplify osteocytes' mechanotransduction by producing a more compliant tissue. Overall, the present study demonstrates that changes in tissue composition localized at the lacuna wall contribute to the strength and fatigue resistance of cortical bone gained in response to intermittent PTH(1-34) treatment.

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