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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 853159, 9 pages
Research Article

Anatomic Changes in the Macroscopic Morphology and Microarchitecture of Denervated Long Bone Tissue after Spinal Cord Injury in Rats

1Department of Biomechanics, Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Avenida Bandeirantes 3900, 14049-900 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil
2Laboratory of Bioengineering, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Pedreira de Freitas, Casa 1, Avenida Bandeirantes 3900, 14049-900 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

Received 19 February 2014; Revised 23 June 2014; Accepted 24 June 2014; Published 20 July 2014

Academic Editor: Shiro Imagama

Copyright © 2014 Ariane Zamarioli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To study the effects of mechanical loading on bones after SCI, we assessed macro- and microscopic anatomy in rats submitted to passive standing (PS) and electrical stimulation (ES). The study design was based on two main groups of juvenile male Wistar rats with SCI: one was followed for 33 days with therapies starting at day 3 and the other was followed for 63 days with therapies starting at day 33. Both groups were composed of four subgroups ( /group): (1) Sham, (2) SCI, (3) SCI + PS, and (4) SCI + ES. Rehabilitation protocol consisted of a 20-minute session, 3x/wk for 30 days. The animals were sequentially weighed and euthanized. The femur and tibia were assessed macroscopically and microscopically by scanning electronic microscopy (SEM). The SCI rats gained less weight than Sham-operated animals. Significant reduction of bone mass and periosteal radii was observed in the SCI rats, whereas PS and ES efficiently improved the macroscopic parameters. The SEM images showed less and thin trabecular bone in SCI rats. PS and ES efficiently ameliorated the bone microarchitecture deterioration by thickening and increasing the trabeculae. Based on the detrimental changes in bone tissue following SCI, the mechanical loading through weight bearing and muscle contraction may decrease the bone loss and restore the macro- and microanatomy.