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Sciatic neurectomy-related cortical bone loss exhibits delayed onset yet stabilises more rapidly than trabecular bone

Monzem, Samuel; Javaheri, Behzad; de Souza, Roberto Lopes; Pitsillides, Andrew Anthony


Samuel Monzem

Behzad Javaheri

Roberto Lopes de Souza

Andrew Anthony Pitsillides


Disuse osteoporosis occurs after extended periods of bed rest or nerve damage leading to increased risk of fracture. It remains to be established, however, whether the trajectory of bone loss is equivalent in bone's cortical and trabecular compartments following long-term periods of reduced loading. Herein, we evaluate sciatic neurectomy-related cortical and trabecular bone loss in the tibia by microCT. The right hind limb of seventeen 12 week-old female mice was subjected to sciatic neurectomy (right, SN; left, contralateral internal control) and the animals were sacrificed in four groups (n = 3-5/group) at 5, 35, 65 and 95 days thereafter. Cortical bone mass, geometry and mineral density were evaluated along almost the entire tibial length and trabecular bone was examined at the proximal metaphysis. We found that trabecular bone volume (BV/TV) and number were decreased within 5 days, with a trajectory of loss that only plateaued after 65 days post-SN. In contrast, decreases in cortical thickness, cross-sectional area, second moment of inertia along minor and major axes and predicted resistance to torsion were unmodified during the early 5 day period, attaining significance only after 35 days post-SN and, thereafter showed no further deterioration. Only cortical ellipticity and periosteal enclosed area, continued to change in the SN limbs (vs. contralateral) between 35 and 95 days along the tibia length. On the other hand, cortical tissue mineral density was unmodified by SN at any time point. These data indicate that SN-related cortical bone loss extends along almost the entire tibia, exhibits delayed onset and yet stabilises its architecture more rapidly than trabecular bone. These data suggest that the cortical and trabecular compartments behave as distinct modules in response to SN even within an individual bone.


Monzem, S., Javaheri, B., de Souza, R. L., & Pitsillides, A. A. (2021). Sciatic neurectomy-related cortical bone loss exhibits delayed onset yet stabilises more rapidly than trabecular bone. Bone Reports, 101116.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 8, 2021
Online Publication Date Aug 17, 2021
Publication Date Aug 17, 2021
Deposit Date Aug 18, 2021
Publicly Available Date Sep 21, 2021
Journal Bone Reports
Print ISSN 2352-1872
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 101116
Keywords Bone resorption; Bone loss trajectory; Bone mass and shape; Cortical and trabecular bone; Disuse
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