Biomedical Research

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Effects of pulsed electromagnetic field on mineral density, biomechanical properties, and metabolism of bone tissue in heparin-induced osteoporosis in male rats

Owing to the aging world population, medical problems due to old age significantly burden healthcare and economic systems. A major health problem in elderly individuals is loss of bone mass due to osteoporosis, a popular biomedical research subject. Current medical approaches to osteoporosis include pharmacological treatment options, with undesirable adverse effects resulting from many drugs. Alternative methods have been investigated to prevent bone-mass loss or increase bone mass. For example, pulsed electromagnetic field applications are well-studied modalities with varying results. Most studies on PEMF were conducted on postmenopausal women or ovariectomized rats, but epidemiological data suggest that osteoporosis in males is as crucial as in females. This study is the first to evaluate the PEMF effects on heparin-induced osteoporosis in male rats. We induced osteoporosis by administering heparin injections to rats for 33 days, and applied PEMF at a 0.8-mT intensity and 7.3-Hz frequency for 1 h daily for 4 weeks starting from the 35th day of the experiment. The response to pulsed electromagnetic field in bone tissue was evaluated using bone mineral density results, biomechanical measurements, and receptor activator of nuclear factor κB/ RANK ligand/osteoprotegerin evaluations. We observed that PEMF did not significantly affect bone mass restoration in osteoporosis models. The biomechanical measurements revealed inconclusive findings in favor of pulsed electromagnetic field application. We concluded that the presence of osteoporosis and the biological background from which osteoporosis develops contribute to the PEMF effects, and hormonal exposure in females may be related to the favorable effects of PEMF on bone remodeling.

Author(s): Müge Çina Aksoy, Olgun Topal, Hatice Varol Özkavak, Duygu Kumbul Doguç, Azime Aslihan Ilhan, Selçuk Çömlekçi