In order to prove osteocytic osteolysis in vivo, human parathyroid hormone (hPTH (1-34), 749 ng/h), or only solvent of the same volume, was continuously administered to 8-month-old rats by an infusion pump for 4 weeks, and then structural changes in osteocytes in the cortical bones of the tibiae were analyzed morphometrically, histologically, and histochemically. Based on contact microradiography (CMR) observations, the osteocyte lacunae in the PTH group tended to be enlarged, compared with those of the control, while the average lacuna area was 137.0 microm2 in the PTH group versus 93.9 microm2 in the control, suggesting evidence of osteocytic osteolysis. Acid phosphatase enzyme histochemical localization was observed in some osteocytes in the PTH group; therefore, lysosome systems may participate in the osteolytic mechanisms. On histological samples stained with hematoxylin-eosin or toluidine blue, the lacunae of the controls were surrounded by narrow areas of matrices both positive for hematoxylin and metachromatic for toluidine blue, while belt-like areas positive for hematoxylin were observed around the PTH-group lacunae. These findings suggested that, after osteocytic osteolysis, regenerated bone matrices may be added to the walls of osteocytes that possess enlarged lacunae.
Copyright 2004 Springer-Verlag