Bone formation is not impaired by hibernation (disuse) in black bears Ursus americanus

Seth W. Donahue, Michael R. Vaughan, Laurence Demers, Henry J. Donahue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Disuse by bed rest, limb immobilization or space flight causes rapid bone loss by arresting bone formation and accelerating bone resorption. This net bone loss increases the risk of fracture upon remobilization. Bone loss also occurs in hibernating ground squirrels, golden hamsters, and little brown bats by arresting bone formation and accelerating bone resorption. There is some histological evidence to suggest that black bears Ursus americanus do not lose bone mass during hibernation (i.e. disuse). There is also evidence suggesting that muscle mass and strength are preserved in black bears during hibernation. The question of whether bears can prevent bone loss during hibernation has not been conclusively answered. The goal of the current study was to further assess bone metabolism in hibernating black bears. Using the same serum markers of bone remodeling used to evaluate human patients with osteoporosis, we assayed serum from five black bears, collected every 10 days over a 196-day period, for bone resorption and formation markers. Here we show that bone resorption remains elevated over the entire hibernation period compared to the pre-hibernation period, but osteoblastic bone formation is not impaired by hibernation and is rapidly accelerated during remobilization following hibernation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4233-4239
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume206
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003

Fingerprint

Ursidae
Hibernation
Ursus americanus
hibernation
bone formation
Osteogenesis
bone
bone resorption
bones
Bone Resorption
Bone and Bones
resorption
space flight
Sciuridae
Space Flight
bone metabolism
Bed Rest
Bone Remodeling
Mesocricetus
osteoporosis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science

Cite this

Donahue, Seth W. ; Vaughan, Michael R. ; Demers, Laurence ; Donahue, Henry J. / Bone formation is not impaired by hibernation (disuse) in black bears Ursus americanus. In: Journal of Experimental Biology. 2003 ; Vol. 206, No. 23. pp. 4233-4239.
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Bone formation is not impaired by hibernation (disuse) in black bears Ursus americanus. / Donahue, Seth W.; Vaughan, Michael R.; Demers, Laurence; Donahue, Henry J.

In: Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 206, No. 23, 01.12.2003, p. 4233-4239.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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