University of Oulu

Vidal B, Cascão R, Finnilä MAJ, Lopes IP, Saarakkala S, Zioupos P, et al. (2018) Early arthritis induces disturbances at bone nanostructural level reflected in decreased tissue hardness in an animal model of arthritis. PLoS ONE 13(1): e0190920.

Early arthritis induces disturbances at bone nanostructural level reflected in decreased tissue hardness in an animal model of arthritis

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Author: Vidal, Bruno1; Cascão, Rita1; Finnilä, Mikko A. J.2,3;
Organizations: 1Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa
2Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu
3Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio
4Medical Research Center Oulo, Oulu University
5Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital
6Biomechanics Labs, Cranfield Forensic Institute, Cranfield University, Defence Academy of the UK
7EpiDoC Unit, CEDOC, NOVA Medical School, NOVA University
8Rheumatology Department, Centro Hospitalar de Lisboa Norte, EPE, Hospital de Santa Maria, Lisbon Academic Medical Centre
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 16.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Public Library of Science, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-03-20


Introduction: Arthritis induces joint erosions and skeletal bone fragility.

Objectives: The main goal of this work was to analyze the early arthritis induced events at bone architecture and mechanical properties at tissue level.

Methods: Eighty-eight Wistar rats were randomly housed in experimental groups, as follows: adjuvant induced arthritis (AIA) (N = 47) and a control healthy group (N = 41). Rats were monitored during 22 days for the inflammatory score, ankle perimeter and body weight and sacrificed at different time points (11 and 22 days post disease induction). Bone samples were collected for histology, micro computed tomography (micro-CT), 3-point bending and nanoindentation. Blood samples were also collected for bone turnover markers and systemic cytokine quantification.

Results: At bone tissue level, measured by nanoindentation, there was a reduction of hardness in the arthritic group, associated with an increase of the ratio of bone concentric to parallel lamellae and of the area of the osteocyte lacuna. In addition, increased bone turnover and changes in the microstructure and mechanical properties were observed in arthritic animals, since the early phase of arthritis, when compared with healthy controls.

Conclusion: We have shown in an AIA rat model that arthritis induces very early changes at bone turnover, structural degradation and mechanical weakness. Bone tissue level is also affected since the early phase of arthritis, characterized by decreased tissue hardness associated with changes in bone lamella organization and osteocyte lacuna surface. These observations highlight the pertinence of immediate control of inflammation in the initial stages of arthritis.

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Series: PLoS one
ISSN: 1932-6203
ISSN-E: 1932-6203
ISSN-L: 1932-6203
Volume: 13
Issue: 1
Article number: e0190920
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0190920
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
Funding: This work was supported by ECTS/AMGEN Bone Biology Fellowship.
Copyright information: © 2018 Vidal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.