Bone deconditioning during partial weight-bearing in rodents-A systematic review and meta-analysis br

Patrick Swain*, Marie Mortreux, Jonathan Laws, Harry Kyriacou, Enrico De Martino, Nick Caplan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Space agencies are preparing to send humans to the Moon (16% Earth's gravity) and Mars (38% Earth's gravity), however, there is limited evidence regarding the effects of hypogravity on the skeletal system. A novel rodent partial weight-bearing (PWB) model may provide insight into how human bone responds to hypogravity. The aim of this study was to perform a systematic review investigating the effect of PWB on the structure and function of rodent bone. Five online databases were searched with the following inclusion criteria: population (rodents), intervention (PWB for ≥1-week), control (full weight-bearing), outcomes (bone structure/function), and study design (animal intervention). Of the 2,993 studies identified, eight were included. The main findings were that partial weight-bearing exposure for 21-28 days at 20%, 40%, and 70% of full loading causes: 1) loss of bone mineral density, 2) loss of trabecular bone volume, thickness, number, and increased separation, 3) loss of cortical area and thickness, and 4) reduced bone stiffness and strength. These findings predominately relate the tibia/femur of young/mature female mice, however, their deconditioning response appeared similar, but not identical, to male rats. A dose-response trend was frequently observed between the magnitude of deconditioning and PWB level. The deconditioning patterns in PWB resembled those in rodents and humans exposed to microgravity and microgravity analogs. The present findings suggest that countermeasures against bone deconditioning may be required for humans exploring the Lunar and Martian surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-103
Number of pages17
JournalLife Sciences in Space Research
Early online date29 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022


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