Mechanical loading has stimulating effects on bone architecture, which can potentially be used as a therapy for osteoporosis. We investigated the skeletal changes in the tibia of ovariectomized rats during treatment with whole body vibration (WBV). Different low-magnitude WBV treatment protocols were tested in a pilot experiment using ovariectomized rats with loading schemes of 2 x 8 min/day, 5 days/ week (n = 2 rats per protocol). Bone volume and architecture were evaluated during a 10 week follow-up using in-vivo microcomputed tomography scanning. The loading protocol in which a 45 Hz sine wave was applied at 2 Hz with an acceleration of 0.5g showed an anabolic effect on bone and was therefore further analyzed in two groups of animals (n = 6 each group) with WBV starting directly after or 3 weeks after ovariectomy and compared to a control (non- WBV) group at 0, 3, 6 and 10 weeks' follow-up. In the follow-up experiment the WBV stimulus did not significantly affect trabecular volume fraction or cortical bone volume in any of the treatment groups during the 10 week follow-up. WBV did reduce weight gain that was induced as a consequence of ovariectomy. We could not demonstrate any significant effects of WBV on bone loss as a consequence of ovariectomy in rats; however, the weight gain that normally results after ovariectomy was partly prevented. Treatment with WBV was not able to prevent bone loss during induced osteoporosis.

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Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van der Jagt, O.P, van der Linden, J.C, Waarsing, J.H, Verhaar, J.A.N, & Weinans, H.H. (2012). Low-magnitude whole body vibration does not affect bone mass but does affect weight in ovariectomized rats. Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism, 30(1), 40–46. doi:10.1007/s00774-011-0293-5