Disuse bone loss in hindquarter suspended rats: partial weightbearing, exercise and ibandronate treatment as countermeasures. Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study was to evaluate potential countermeasures for bone loss during long-term space missions in the hindquarter suspended rat, including partial weight bearing (surrogate for artificial gravity) episodic full weight bearing (2 hour/day full weight bearing) and treatment with the third generation bisphosphonate ibandronate (Roche). Graded mechanical loading was studied by housing the animals on a novel servo controlled force plate system which permitted the titration of mechanical force at varying frequency and amplitude and different levels of weight bearing. The force plate, which forms the cage floor, is a glass platform supported by an 18" diameter speaker cone filled with expanding polyurethane foam. An infrared optical sensor attached to the speaker cone yields a voltage linearly related to vertical displacement of the glass platform. The dynamic force on the paw was computed as a product of the apparent mass of the animal on the platform at rest and the acceleration of the platform determined from the second derivative of the optical sensor output. The mass of the animal on the platform was varied by adjusting tension on the tether suspending the animal. Mechanical impact loading was titrated with the force plate resonating at different frequencies, including 3 Hz and 16 Hz.

published proceedings

  • J Gravit Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Schultheis, L., Ruff, C. B., Rastogi, S., Bloomfield, S., Hogan, H. A., Fedarko, N., ... Shapiro, J. R.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Schultheis, L||Ruff, CB||Rastogi, S||Bloomfield, S||Hogan, HA||Fedarko, N||Thierry-Palmer, M||Ruiz, J||Bauss, F||Shapiro, JR

publication date

  • July 2000