Decreases in bone blood flow and bone material properties in aging Fischer-344 rats. Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study was to quantify precisely aging-induced changes in skeletal perfusion and bone mechanical properties in a small rodent model. Blood flow was measured in conscious juvenile (2 months old), adult (6 months old), and aged (24 months old) male Fischer-344 rats using radiolabeled microspheres. There were no significant differences in bone perfusion rate or vascular resistance between juvenile and adult rats. However, blood flow was lower in aged versus adult rats in the forelimb bones, scapulas, and femurs. To test for functional effects of this decline in blood flow, bone mineral density and mechanical properties were measured in rats from these two age groups. Bone mineral density and cross-sectional moment of inertia in femoral and tibial shafts and the femoral neck were significantly larger in the aged versus adult rats, resulting in increased (+14%-53%) breaking strength and stiffness. However, intrinsic material properties at midshaft of the long bones were 12% to 25% lower in the aged rats. Although these data are consistent with a potential link between decreased perfusion and focal alterations in bone remodeling activity related to clinically relevant bone loss, additional studies are required to establish the mechanisms for this putative relationship.

published proceedings

  • Clin Orthop Relat Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Bloomfield, S. A., Hogan, H. A., & Delp, M. D.

citation count

  • 62

complete list of authors

  • Bloomfield, Susan A||Hogan, Harry A||Delp, Michael D

publication date

  • January 2002