Lacunar-canalicular bone remodeling: Impacts on bone quality and tools for assessment


Osteocytes can resorb as well as replace bone adjacent to the expansive lacunar-canalicular system (LCS). Suppressed LCS remodeling decreases bone fracture toughness, but it is unclear how altered LCS remodeling impacts bone quality. The first goal of this review is to assess how LCS remodeling impacts LCS morphology as well as the composition and mechanical properties of surrounding bone tissue. The second goal is to compare tools available for the assessment of bone quality at length-scales that are physiologically-relevant to LCS remodeling. We find that changes to LCS morphology occur in response to a variety of physiological conditions and diseases and can be classified in two general phenotypes. In the ‘aging phenotype’, seen in aging and in some disuse models, the LCS is truncated and osteocytes apoptosis is increased. In the ‘osteocytic osteolysis’ phenotype, which is adaptive in some physiological settings and possibly maladaptive in others, the LCS enlarges and osteocytes generally maintain viability. Bone composition and mechanical properties vary near the osteocyte and change with at least some conditions that alter LCS morphology. However, few studies have evaluated bone composition and mechanical properties close to the LCS and so the impacts of LCS remodeling phenotypes on bone tissue quality are still undetermined. We summarize the current understanding of how LCS remodeling impacts LCS morphology, tissue-scale bone composition and mechanical properties, and whole-bone material properties. Tools are compared for assessing tissue-scale bone properties, as well as the resolution, advantages, and limitations of these techniques.




Vahidi, G., C. Rux, V.D. Sherk, and C.M. Heveran. “Lacunar-Canalicular Bone Remodeling: Impacts on Bone Quality and Tools for Assessment.” Bone 143 (February 2021): 115663. doi:10.1016/j.bone.2020.115663.
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