The effects of exogenous pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) stimulation on T1DM-associated osteopathy were investigated in alloxan-treated rabbits. We found that PEMF improved bone architecture, mechanical properties, and porous titanium (pTi) osseointegration by promoting bone anabolism through a canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling-associated mechanism, and revealed the clinical potential of PEMF stimulation for the treatment of T1DM-associated bone complications.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is associated with deteriorated bone architecture and impaired osseous healing potential; nonetheless, effective methods for resisting T1DM-associated osteopenia/osteoporosis and promoting bone defect/fracture healing are still lacking. PEMF, as a safe and noninvasive method, have proven to be effective for promoting osteogenesis, whereas the potential effects of PEMF on T1DM osteopathy remain poorly understood.
We herein investigated the effects of PEMF stimulation on bone architecture, mechanical properties, bone turnover, and its potential molecular mechanisms in alloxan-treated diabetic rabbits. We also developed novel nontoxic Ti2448 pTi implants with closer elastic modulus with natural bone and investigated the impacts of PEMF on pTi osseointegration for T1DM bone-defect repair.
The deteriorations of cancellous and cortical bone architecture and tissue-level mechanical strength were attenuated by 8-week PEMF stimulation. PEMF also promoted osseointegration and stimulated more adequate bone ingrowths into the pore spaces of pTi in T1DM long-bone defects. Moreover, T1DM-associated reduction of bone formation was significantly attenuated by PEMF, whereas PEMF exerted no impacts on bone resorption. We also found PEMF-induced activation of osteoblastogenesis-related Wnt/β-catenin signaling in T1DM skeletons, but PEMF did not alter osteoclastogenesis-associated RANKL/RANK signaling gene expression.
We reveal that PEMF improved bone architecture, mechanical properties, and pTi osseointegration by promoting bone anabolism through a canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling-associated mechanism. This study enriches our basic knowledge for understanding skeletal sensitivity in response to external electromagnetic signals, and also opens new treatment alternatives for T1DM-associated osteopenia/osteoporosis and osseous defects in an easy and highly efficient manner.
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This work was supported by the Chinese National Natural Science Foundation (No. 31500760 and 81471806).
This study was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of the Fourth Military Medical University, and all animal procedures were strictly performed in accordance with the approved guidelines.
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Cai, J., Li, W., Sun, T. et al. Pulsed electromagnetic fields preserve bone architecture and mechanical properties and stimulate porous implant osseointegration by promoting bone anabolism in type 1 diabetic rabbits. Osteoporos Int 29, 1177–1191 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00198-018-4392-1
- Bone turnover
- Pulsed electromagnetic fields
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus