Date of Award

5-2016

Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering

Department

Biomedical and General Engineering

Advisor

Scott Hazelwood

Abstract

Previous research has provided evidence in support of apoptotic osteocytes playing a role in the bone remodeling process. In this study, we examined the regional and quadrantal variations of apoptotic and viable osteocytes in cyclically loaded and unloaded samples. Left tibias of C57 Black 6 Taconic mice (C57Bl/6) were cyclically loaded for either 2 weeks or 5 weeks, with the right tibias being used as controls. After loading, tibias were resected, processed, and then stained using either a TUNEL stain, to show apoptotic osteocytes, or a 2.0% methyl green solution, to reveal viable cells. Cross-sectional images from each tibia were then captured and analyzed in each region (distal, midshaft and proximal) and quadrant (cranial, lateral, caudal, and medial) by counting the number of osteocytes, both apoptotic and viable, and subsequently calculating the percentages and densities of those osteocytes. Individual analysis of each sample group showed that the 5 week loaded bones, with the most statistically significant p-values, had the most regional variations within the samples, specifically showing decreased apoptotic and viable osteocytes in the lateral quadrants. Comparative analysis revealed a statistically significant higher percentage and density of apoptotic osteocytes in 5 week loaded samples compared to all other samples. This provides further quantitative evidence in support of apoptotic osteocytes playing a role in bone remodeling.

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