Semiautomated Longitudinal Microcomputed Tomography-based Quantitative Structural Analysis of a Nude Rat Osteoporosis-related Vertebral Fracture Model


Osteoporosis-related vertebral compression fractures (OVCFs) are a common and clinically unmet need with increasing prevalence as the world population ages. Animal OVCF models are essential to the preclinical development of translational tissue engineering strategies. While a number of models currently exist, this protocol describes an optimized method for inducing multiple highly reproducible vertebral defects in a single nude rat. A novel longitudinal semiautomated microcomputed tomography (microCT)-based quantitative structural analysis of the vertebral defects is also detailed. Briefly, rats were imaged at multiple time points post-op. The day 1 scan was reoriented to a standard position, and a standard volume of interest was defined. Subsequent microCT scans of each rat were automatically registered to the day 1 scan so the same volume of interest was then analyzed to assess for new bone formation. This versatile approach can be adapted to a variety of other models where longitudinal imaging-based analysis could benefit from precise 3D semiautomated alignment. Taken together, this protocol describes a readily quantifiable and easily reproducible system for osteoporosis and bone research. The suggested protocol takes 4 months to induce osteoporosis in nude ovariectomized rats and between 2.7 and 4 h to generate, image, and analyze two vertebral defects, depending on tissue size and equipment.


Shapiro, Galina Bez, Maxim Tawackoli, Wafa Gazit, Zulma Gazit, Dan Pelled, Gadi eng J Vis Exp. 2017 Sep 28;(127). doi: 10.3791/55928.