Bone-cell changes in estrogen-induced bone-mass increase in mice: Dissociation of osteoclasts from bone surfaces

C. C. Liu, Guy Howard

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Abstract

Early studies in certain avian and mammalian species have described estrogen-associated bone-cell changes, which were based on bone cells that were neither quantified nor identified histochemically (osteoclasts). In the experiments described here, weanling female mice were given a pharmacological dose of 17β-estradiol benzoate (1 mg/week) for 1 and 4 weeks, and changes in osteoclasts and osteoblasts were assessed in tibial metaphyses and diaphyses. In the proximal metaphysis, the number of osteoclasts/mm surface length was significantly reduced by estrogen at 1 week (43%) and 4 weeks (64%), which was accompanied by significant increases in the number of osteoclasts in the marrow space not in contact with bone surfaces (no./mm2: 382% and 999%, respectively). These increases, along with observations of decreased osteoclast size (19%), of changes in osteoclast morphology, and of numerous acid-phosphatase-positive fragments in the marrow space, suggest that estrogen treatment causes the dissociation and disintegration, and thus decreased activity, of osteoclasts. The above changes were accompanied by more than 48% increases in the number of trabecular osteoblasts. In the diaphysis, the number of endosteal osteoclasts was significantly decreased by estrogen at 1 week (32%), but was not significantly changed at 4 weeks. These changes were attended by significant increases in the number of osteoclasts in the marrow space not in contact with bone surfaces (no./mm2: 393% at 1 week and 342% at 4 weeks). The number of endosteal osteoblasts was also increased by estrogen at 1 week (132%), and so was the size of endosteal osteoblasts (39% at 1 week and 81% at 4 weeks). Comparable results were obtained when a lower dose of 17β-estradiol benzoate (20 μg/week) was given to ovariectomized mice. The increase in bone mass and its associated cell changes following estrogen treatment were also found in athymic nude mice, suggesting that these bone/bone cell changes are independent of the thymus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-250
Number of pages11
JournalAnatomical Record
Volume229
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1991

Fingerprint

osteoclasts
Osteoclasts
estrogens
Estrogens
bones
Bone and Bones
mice
osteoblasts
Osteoblasts
cells
Diaphyses
Bone Marrow
benzoates
Nude Mice
estradiol
dosage
Acid Phosphatase
weanlings
acid phosphatase
Thymus Gland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anatomy

Cite this

Bone-cell changes in estrogen-induced bone-mass increase in mice : Dissociation of osteoclasts from bone surfaces. / Liu, C. C.; Howard, Guy.

In: Anatomical Record, Vol. 229, No. 2, 01.02.1991, p. 240-250.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Early studies in certain avian and mammalian species have described estrogen-associated bone-cell changes, which were based on bone cells that were neither quantified nor identified histochemically (osteoclasts). In the experiments described here, weanling female mice were given a pharmacological dose of 17β-estradiol benzoate (1 mg/week) for 1 and 4 weeks, and changes in osteoclasts and osteoblasts were assessed in tibial metaphyses and diaphyses. In the proximal metaphysis, the number of osteoclasts/mm surface length was significantly reduced by estrogen at 1 week (43{\%}) and 4 weeks (64{\%}), which was accompanied by significant increases in the number of osteoclasts in the marrow space not in contact with bone surfaces (no./mm2: 382{\%} and 999{\%}, respectively). These increases, along with observations of decreased osteoclast size (19{\%}), of changes in osteoclast morphology, and of numerous acid-phosphatase-positive fragments in the marrow space, suggest that estrogen treatment causes the dissociation and disintegration, and thus decreased activity, of osteoclasts. The above changes were accompanied by more than 48{\%} increases in the number of trabecular osteoblasts. In the diaphysis, the number of endosteal osteoclasts was significantly decreased by estrogen at 1 week (32{\%}), but was not significantly changed at 4 weeks. These changes were attended by significant increases in the number of osteoclasts in the marrow space not in contact with bone surfaces (no./mm2: 393{\%} at 1 week and 342{\%} at 4 weeks). The number of endosteal osteoblasts was also increased by estrogen at 1 week (132{\%}), and so was the size of endosteal osteoblasts (39{\%} at 1 week and 81{\%} at 4 weeks). Comparable results were obtained when a lower dose of 17β-estradiol benzoate (20 μg/week) was given to ovariectomized mice. The increase in bone mass and its associated cell changes following estrogen treatment were also found in athymic nude mice, suggesting that these bone/bone cell changes are independent of the thymus.",
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