Cortical bone development under the growth plate is regulated by mechanical load transfer.
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SourceJournal of Anatomy, 208, 1, (2006), pp. 73-79
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Anatomy
SubjectNCEBP 10: Human Movement & Fatigue; NCMLS 3: Tissue engineering and pathology; UMCN 4.3: Tissue engineering and reconstructive surgery; NCEBP 10: Human Movement & Fatigue
Longitudinal growth of long bones takes place at the growth plates. The growth plate produces new bone trabeculae, which are later resorbed or merged into the cortical shell. This process implies transition of trabecular metaphyseal sections into diaphyseal sections. We hypothesize that the development of cortical bone is governed by mechanical stimuli. We also hypothesize that trabecular and cortical bone share the same regulatory mechanisms for adaptation to mechanical loads. To test these hypotheses, we monitored the development of the tibial cortex in growing pigs, using micro-computer tomography and histology. We then tested the concept that regulatory mechanisms for trabecular bone adaptation can also explain cortical bone development using our mechanical stimulation theory, which could explain trabecular bone (re)modelling. The main results showed that, from the growth plate towards the diaphysis, the pores of the trabecular structure were gradually filled in with bone, which resulted in increased density and cortical bone. The computer model largely predicted this morphological development. We conclude that merging of metaphyseal trabeculae into cortex is likely to be governed by mechanical stimuli. Furthermore, cortex development of growing long bones can be explained as a form of trabecular bone adaptation, without the need for different regulatory mechanisms for cortical and trabecular bone.
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