Bone remodeling and bone matrix quality before and after menopause in healthy women

D. Farlay, Y. Bala, S. Rizzo, S. Bare, J. M. Lappe, R. Recker, G. Boivin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Acceleration of remodeling activity after menopause leads to bone loss and fragility, however, whether this is associated with modifications of bone matrix quality has been less studied. The impact of variation in bone remodeling rate on bone matrix has been studied mainly in pathologies or anti-osteoporotic treatments. However, in healthy women this has been less studied. We analyzed, at the global level, bone matrix quality in bone biopsies from 3 groups of healthy women (20 per group): 1) before menopause (PreM), 2) 1 year after menopause (PostM, paired biopsies with preM), and 3) 14 (±9) years after menopause (LT-PostM). The mean degree of mineralization (DMB) and heterogeneity index (HI) of mineralization were assessed by X-ray microradiography on whole bone matrix; intrinsic properties (mineral/organic ratio, mineral maturity, mineral crystallinity, collagen maturity) were assessed by Fourier Transform Infrared microspectroscopy, microhardness by microindentation, both at a global level and calculated by mean of several measurements over the whole tissue area. In PostM compared to PreM (bone remodeling rate had doubled), mean DMB measured on the entire bone plane (whole bone matrix) of the sample was not different. HI was increased in trabecular bone indicating a higher heterogeneity of mineralization. However, in PostM, mineral/organic ratio (trabecular) and microhardness (cortical and trabecular) were decreased, whereas mineral/collagen maturation or crystal size/perfection were unchanged. Thus, in PostM, the local mineral content and microhardness were first affected. In LT-PostM (bone remodeling rate was 3 times higher), the mean DMB was still not different. However, the mineral/organic ratio, microhardness, mineral maturity, crystallinity all were lower compared to PreM and PostM, in both cortical and trabecular bone. Bone remodeling rate was negatively correlated with microhardness, DMB, mineral/organic and crystallinity. This suggests that increases in bone remodeling rates after menopause have a direct impact on bone quality by inducing the formation of more extensive “immature” bone areas, but the amount of immature bone does not cause modification of the global DMB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115030
StatePublished - Nov 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Histology


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