Osteoclastic activity begins early and increases over the course of bone healing

Schell, Hanna, Lienau, Jasmin, Epari, Devakara R., Seebeck, Petra, Exner, Christine, Muchow, Sarah, Bragulla, Hermann, Haas, Norbert, & Duda, Georg N. (2006) Osteoclastic activity begins early and increases over the course of bone healing. Bone, 38(4), pp. 547-544.

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Osteoclasts are specialised bone-resorbing cells. This particular ability makes osteoclasts irreplaceable for the continual physiological process of bone remodelling as well as for the repair process during bone healing. Whereas the effects of systemic diseases on osteoclasts have been described by many authors, the spatial and temporal distribution of osteoclasts during bone healing seems to be unclear so far. In the present study, healing of a tibial osteotomy under standardised external fixation was examined after 2, 3, 6 and 9 weeks (n = 8) in sheep. The osteoclastic number was counted, the area of mineralised bone tissue was measured histomorphometrically and density of osteoclasts per square millimetre mineralised tissue was calculated. The osteoclastic density in the endosteal region increased, whereas the density in the periosteal region remained relatively constant. The density of osteoclasts within the cortical bone increased slightly over the first 6 weeks, however, there was a more rapid increase between the sixth and ninth weeks. The findings of this study imply that remodelling and resorption take place already in the very early phase of bone healing. The most frequent remodelling process can be found in the periosteal callus, emphasising its role as the main stabiliser. The endosteal space undergoes resorption in order to recanalise the medullary cavity, a process also started in the very early phase of healing at a low level and increasing significantly during healing. The cortical bone adapts in its outward appearance to the surrounding callus structure. This paradoxic loosening is caused by the continually increasing number and density of osteoclasts in the cortical bone ends. This study clearly emphasises the osteoclastic role especially during early bone healing. These cells do not simply resorb bone but participate in a fine adjusted system with the bone-producing osteoblasts in order to maintain and improve the structural strength of bone tissue.

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ID Code: 41302
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.bone.2005.09.018
ISSN: 8756-3282
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (090300)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Elsevier
Deposited On: 15 Apr 2011 02:25
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:57

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