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J Appl Physiol., 2004; 97(5): 1859-65, PMID: 15258128

Adaptations to free-fall impact are different in the shafts and bone ends of rat forelimbs

Jahr: 2004

Welch JM, Weaver CM, Turner CH
Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, West Lafayette 47907-2059, USA.


Impact exercise can have beneficial effects on the growing skeleton. To understand what changes it promotes in the shafts and ends of weight-bearing bones, we measured the effects of impact from repetitive free falls in growing rats. Fischer 344 female rats, 6.5 wk old, were assigned to one of three groups (n = 10 each). Controls were not dropped, whereas those subjected to impact were dropped from 30 or 60 cm. Rats in both free-fall groups were dropped 10 times per day for 8 wk. Leg bones were mechanically tested, and their cross-sectional area (CSA), cross-sectional moments of inertia, and volumetric bone mineral density (BMD) were measured by peripheral quantitative computed tomography. In the shafts of the forelimbs, but not the hindlimbs, free-fall impact resulted in greater ultimate breaking force, minimum and maximum second moments of area, and CSA but not BMD. In the bone ends of the forelimb and tibial bones, trabecular BMD increased but CSA did not. Landing from 30 and 60 cm produced peak impact forces of 12.0 and 16.7 times the standing forefoot weight for each front leg and of 4.5 and 7.7 times the standing hind foot weight for each hind foot. Overall, free-fall impact affected the forelimbs by increasing trabecular bone density in the bone ends and improving the strength at the shaft as a result of geometric improvements. These results indicate that adaptation to impact may occur by different mechanisms in bone end and shaft regions.

GID: 861; Letzte Änderung: 22.01.2008