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Bone Formation Rate in Experimental Disuse Osteoporosis in MonkeysSpecific mechanisms underlying weightless and hypodynamic bone loss are obscure. A principal relationship which must be affected is the balance between bone formation and bone resorption rates. In order to better define the influence of those parameters on bone loss, and also to develop measurements in other species as a useful adjunct to human research, studies were undertaken with experimental monkeys. Tests were conducted with a total of 6 adult male monkeys, weighing 10-13 kg, and approximately 10-12 yrs. of age to evaluate specifically bone formation rate during the development of disuse osteoporosis and osteopenia. Three animals were restrained in a semi-recumbent position for six months; three animals served as normal caged controls. Food intake (Purina) was held relatively constant at 200g/day for each animal. Using a Norland Bone Mineral Analyzer, bone mineral losses of 3.5 to 6% were seen in the mid-shaft of the tibia and in the distal radius. Bone loss was confirmed radiographically, with observation of thinning of the proximal tibial cortex and trabeculae in the calcaneus. Bone formation rate was determined using standard Ca-47 kinetics under metabolic balance conditions. After six months of restraint, accretion was 7.2-13.2 mg Ca/kg/day, compared to 3.2-4.1 mg Ca/kg/day in caged controls and 3-8 mg Ca/kg/day in normal adult humans. Fecal and urine calcium was 25-40% higher in restrained animals than in controls. Dietary calcium absorption decreases during restraint, and calcium turnover increases, implying a rise in bone resorption rate concommitant with the observed rise in bone accretion rate. Further studies dealing specifically with bone resorption are underway to define this more fully.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
Cann, Christopher
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Young, Donald R.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 1976
Publication Information
Publication: Physiologist
Publisher: American Physiological Society
Volume: 19
Issue: 3
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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