Effect of capsaicin-sensitive sensory neurons on bone architecture and mechanical properties in the rat hindlimb suspension model

Zong Kang Zhang, Xia Guo, Jie Lao, Yi Xian Qin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


However, the physiological role of sensory neural regulation in the functional adaptation to weight bearing is not clear. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of capsaicin-induced sensory neuron lesions on cancellous architecture properties in a hindlimb suspension (HLS) model. Methods Thirty-two female rats were randomly assigned to four groups. Groups b and d underwent systemic capsaicin treatment, whereas Groups a and c were treated with vehicle. Then, Groups c and d were subjected to HLS, whereas Groups a and b were allowed hindlimbs full loading. The proximal trabecular and mid-shaft cortical bone structure were evaluated via microcomputed tomography, and the biomechanical properties of the tibial mid-shaft were assessed using the four-point bending test. Results The trabecular bone volume was reduced by 40% and 50% in Groups b and c, respectively, and was also reduced significantly in Group d. Trabecular thickness and trabecular separation in Group b were not significantly different from those of Group a. The cortical bone area fraction showed no significant difference among all groups. Compared with Group a, the ultimate strength in Group b decreased by 20.3%, whereas it did not change significantly in Group c. Conclusion The results suggest that capsaicin-sensitive sensory neurons play an important role in bone modelling. The effect of capsaicin is similar to HLS. However, HLS has no add-on effect to capsaicin in the reduction of bone density and mechanical properties. Translational potential of this article: This study gives clues to the function of sensory neurons in bone modelling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-17
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Translation
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • bone
  • capsaicin
  • hindlimb suspension
  • sensory neuron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of capsaicin-sensitive sensory neurons on bone architecture and mechanical properties in the rat hindlimb suspension model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this