Kangaroo rats (Dipodomys ordii) were used to study the effects of confinement on mechanical properties of bone with a long range objective of proposing an alternative to the white rat model for the study of disuse osteoporosis. Kangaroo rats exhibit bipedal locomotion, which subjects their limbs to substantial accelerative forces in addition to the normal stress of weight bearing. We subjected groups of kangaroo rats and white rats (Rattus norvegicus) to one of two confinement treatments or to an exercise regime; animals were exercised at a rate calculated to replicate their (respective) daily exercise patterns. White laboratory rats were used as the comparison because they are currently the accepted model used in the study of disuse osteoporosis. After 6 weeks of treatment, rats were killed and the long bones of their hind limbs were tested mechanically and examined for histomorphometric changes. We found that kangaroo rats held in confinement had less ash content in their hind limbs than exercised kangaroo rats. In general, treated kangaroo rats showed morphometric and mechanical bone deterioration compared to controls and exercised kangaroo rats appeared to have slightly “stronger” bones than confined animals. White rats exhibited no significant differences between treatments. These preliminary results suggest that kangaroo rats may be an effective model in the study of disuse osteoporosis.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Kangaroo rat bone compared to white rat bone after short-term disuse and exercise|
|Series title||Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part A: Physiology|
|Contributing office(s)||Fort Collins Science Center|
|Online Only (Y/N)||N|
|Additional Online Files (Y/N)||N|