In recent years, several low-magnitude high-frequency whole-body vibration (WBV) platforms are available on market as it is suggested to ameliorate bone loss caused by osteoporosis. Nevertheless, no data to date have reported the long-term effect of WBV on skeleton. The studies using ovariectomised (OVX) rats are usually within 35 days. In this study, the efficacy of 12-week WBV therapy on OVX rat bone was assessed via bone mineral density and mechanical properties. Furthermore, the cellular osteoblastic activity and mRNA expression with vibration treatment were measured using novel OVX rat long bone derived osteoblastic cell culture. The result of our study demonstrates that the duration of WBV therapy matters. On 8th week of the therapy, OVX+WBV group showed significant increment of tibia bone mineral density (BMD) as compared to the non-vibrated OVX group. Nevertheless, this positive effect faded away at the 12th week. Furthermore, WBV therapy deteriorates osteoporotic vertebra BMD and strength. We have successfully established an osteoporotic osteoblast culture proliferated from osteoporotic bone explants. The difference between normal and osteoporotic osteoblast are significantly different in ALP activity, mineralisation capability and at mRNA levels, which can be utilised as a cell model for screening new treatment in future studies. However, the osteoporotic cell culture showed no significant beneficial effect on these parameters in response to vibration. To sum, our data demonstrated that WBV can be detrimental to the vertebra. The authors do recognise the difference in skeleton between rat and human. Nevertheless, the safety of using long-term WBV on osteoporotic patients should be emphasised.
Disclosure: The authors declared no competing interests. The financial support was from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81190131, 31370973) and the National Basic Research Program of China (2011CB606201).