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Abstract

The mineral apposition rate (MAR) is a commonly used parameter for the characterization of bone formation and is often determined to test for experimental effects on cortical bone. We investigated whether there are physiologic variations in rat cortical MAR dependent on the side or site of measurement. In our experiment we used female rats. The animals were sacrificed on day 8, after double-fluorochrome labeling with calcein and tetracycline was performed. The MAR was calculated at 3.6, 5.4, 7.2, 9, and 10.8 mm from the epiphyseal growth plate of the lateral as well as of the medial endosteum of both right and left tibiae. We found a physiologic significant difference in the MAR between the lateral and the medial endosteal sites of the same tibia (p lt; 0.0001), especially near the epiphyseal growth plate. Regarding the same cortical side, there is a significant decrease (p lt; 0.0001) in the endosteal MAR with increasing distance from the epiphyseal growth plate. We conclude that the observed differences in endocortical MAR must be due to specific mechanical challenges. Because these differences are statistically significant, it is necessary to standardize the area of histomorphometric measurement not only with respect to the distance from the epiphyseal growth plate, but also with respect to the cortical side.