The edentulous ovine diastema represents a suitable region for implantologieal research. Due to distinctive embryonic origin and mechanical loading, the edentulous diastema may respond differently to osteoporosis than tooth-bearing areas. To test this assumption, we subjected geriatric sheep to ovariectomy, calcium-Zvitamin-D-rcstricted diet, and methylprednisolone administration. Adult control sheep remained untreated. Structural parameters and bone mineral density were determined by microeomputed tomography and conventional computed tomography, respectively. We report that the trabecular microstructure in the diastema was preserved from catabolic changes. In contrast, the premolar maxillary region of osteoporotic sheep had diminished trabecular bone mineral density, with the corresponding structural deteriorations. These results suggest that maxillary trabecular bone of the edentulous diastema does not respond to catabolic changes which occur in the tooth-bearing area in osteoporosis. Our findings imply that regional anatomic domains must be considered in the planning of pre-clinical studies, taking osteoporotic changes into account.
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