Effects of long-term cigarette smoke exposure on bone metabolism, structure, and quality in a mouse model of emphysema

PLoS One. 2018 Jan 30;13(1):e0191611. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0191611. eCollection 2018.


Smoking is a common risk factor for both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and osteoporosis. In patients with COPD, severe emphysema is a risk factor for vertebral fracture; however, the effects of smoking or emphysema on bone health remain largely unknown. We report bone deterioration in a mouse model of emphysema induced by nose-only cigarette smoke (CS) exposure. Unexpectedly, short-term exposure for 4-weeks decreased bone turnover and increased bone volume in mice. However, prolonged exposure for 20- and 40-weeks reversed the effects from suppression to promotion of bone resorption. This long-term CS exposure increased osteoclast number and impaired bone growth, while it increased bone volume. Strikingly, long-term CS exposure deteriorated bone quality of the lumbar vertebrae as illustrated by disorientation of collagen fibers and the biological apatite c-axis. This animal model may provide a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the deterioration of bone quality in pulmonary emphysema caused by smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Remodeling
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Emphysema / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Smoke*
  • Tobacco Products*


  • Smoke

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work.