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Papers: 7 Jan 2023 - 13 Jan 2023

2022 Dec 28

Int J Mol Sci



Influence of the Peripheral Nervous System on Murine Osteoporotic Fracture Healing and Fracture-Induced Hyperalgesia.


Wank I, Niedermair T, Kronenberg D, Stange R, Brochhausen C, Hess A, Grässel S
Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Dec 28; 24(1).
PMID: 36613952.


Osteoporotic fractures are often linked to persisting chronic pain and poor healing outcomes. Substance P (SP), α-calcitonin gene-related peptide (α-CGRP) and sympathetic neurotransmitters are involved in bone remodeling after trauma and nociceptive processes, e.g., fracture-induced hyperalgesia. We aimed to link sensory and sympathetic signaling to fracture healing and fracture-induced hyperalgesia under osteoporotic conditions. Externally stabilized femoral fractures were set 28 days after OVX in wild type (WT), α-CGRP- deficient (α-CGRP -/-), SP-deficient (Tac1-/-) and sympathectomized (SYX) mice. Functional MRI (fMRI) was performed two days before and five and 21 days post fracture, followed by µCT and biomechanical tests. Sympathectomy affected structural bone properties in the fracture callus whereas loss of sensory neurotransmitters affected trabecular structures in contralateral, non-fractured bones. Biomechanical properties were mostly similar in all groups. Both nociceptive and resting-state (RS) fMRI revealed significant baseline differences in functional connectivity (FC) between WT and neurotransmitter-deficient mice. The fracture-induced hyperalgesia modulated central nociception and had robust impact on RS FC in all groups. The changes demonstrated in RS FC in fMRI might potentially be used as a bone traumata-induced biomarker regarding fracture healing under pathophysiological musculoskeletal conditions. The findings are of clinical importance and relevance as they advance our understanding of pain during osteoporotic fracture healing and provide a potential imaging biomarker for fracture-related hyperalgesia and its temporal development. Overall, this may help to reduce the development of chronic pain after fracture thereby improving the treatment of osteoporotic fractures.