In the past few years there has been a considerable interest in the role of bone in osteoarthritis. Despite the increasing evidence of the involvement of bone in osteoarthritis, it remains very difficult to attribute the cause or effect of changes in subchondral bone to the process of osteoarthritis. Although osteoarthritis in mice provides a useful model to study changes in the subchondral bone, detailed quantification of these changes is lacking. Therefore, the goal of this study was to quantify subchondral bone changes in a murine osteoarthritis model by use of micro-computed tomography (micro-CT). We induced osteoarthritis-like characteristics in the knee joints of mice using collagenase injections, and after four weeks we calculated various 3D morphometric parameters in the epiphysis of the proximal tibia. The collagenase injections caused cartilage damage, visible in histological sections, particularly on the medial tibial plateau. Micro-CT analysis revealed that the thickness of the subchondral bone plate was decreased both at the lateral and the medial side. The trabecular compartment demonstrated a small but significant reduction in bone volume fraction compared to the contralateral control joints. Trabeculae in the collagenase-injected joints were thinner but their shape remained rod-like. Furthermore, the connectivity between trabeculae was reduced and the trabecular spacing was increased. In conclusion, four weeks after induction of osteoarthritis in the murine knee subtle but significant changes in subchondral bone architecture could be detected and quantified in 3D with micro-CT analysis.

Animals, Arthritis, Experimental/*pathology/radiography, Disease Models, Animal, Epiphyses/pathology/radiography, Knee Joint/pathology/radiography, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C3H, Microradiography, Osteoarthritis/*pathology/radiography, Tibia/*pathology/radiography, Tomography, X-Ray Computed
Biorheology: an international journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Botter, S.M, van Osch, G.J.V.M, Waarsing, J.H, Day, J.S, Verhaar, J.A.N, Pols, H.A.P, … Weinans, H.H. (2006). Quantification of subchondral bone changes in a murine osteoarthritis model using micro-CT. Biorheology: an international journal, 379–388. Retrieved from