Alcohol Consumption by Young Actively Growing Rats: A Study of Cortical Bone Histomorphometry and Mechanical Properties

Authors

  • Harry A. Hogan,

    1. From die Department of Mechanical Engineering (H.A.H., N.L.), Texas A&M University; and the Department of Human Anatomy and Medical Neurobiology (H.W.S., E.C.). College of Medicine. Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College Station. Texas.
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  • H. Wayne Sampson,

    Corresponding author
    1. From die Department of Mechanical Engineering (H.A.H., N.L.), Texas A&M University; and the Department of Human Anatomy and Medical Neurobiology (H.W.S., E.C.). College of Medicine. Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College Station. Texas.
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  • Erin Cashier,

    1. From die Department of Mechanical Engineering (H.A.H., N.L.), Texas A&M University; and the Department of Human Anatomy and Medical Neurobiology (H.W.S., E.C.). College of Medicine. Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College Station. Texas.
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  • Nicole Ledoux

    1. From die Department of Mechanical Engineering (H.A.H., N.L.), Texas A&M University; and the Department of Human Anatomy and Medical Neurobiology (H.W.S., E.C.). College of Medicine. Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College Station. Texas.
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  • This study was supported in part by Grant AA10234 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Reprint requests: H. Wayne Sampson, Ph.D., Department of Human Anatomy and Medical Neurobiology, College of Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843–1114.

Abstract

Alcohol consumption by young actively growing rats has been previously demonstrated to decrease cortical and cancellous bone density, to reduce trabecular bone volume, and to inhibit bone growth at the epiphyseal growth plate. This study addresses the action of alcohol on cortical bone growth using histomorphometric techniques and on mechanical properties by three-point bending. Four-week-old, female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three groups. Alcohol-treated animals were fed a modified Lieber-DeCarli diet ad libitum containing 35% ethanol-derived calories, whereas the pairfed animals (weight-matched to ethanol rats) received an isocaloric liquid diet in which maltose-dextrin-substituted calories were supplied by ethanol. Chow animals were fed a standard rat chow ad libitum. Femora were removed for analysis after 2, 4, 6, or 8 weeks on the diets. Cortical bone area, bone formation rates, and mineral apposition rates were reduced in the alcohol-fed animals. Bone stiffness, strength, and energy absorbed to fracture were significantly lower in the alcohol-fed animals. This distinctive alcohol effect was revealed to be caused by lower quality bone tissue as reflected by lower elastic moduli and yield strengths.

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