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Tower RJ, Campbell GM, Müller M, Glüer CC, Tiwari S. Utilizing time-lapse micro-CT-correlated bisphosphonate binding kinetics and soft tissue-derived input functions to differentiate site-specific changes in bone metabolism in vivo. Bone 2015.

The turnover of bone is a tightly regulated process between bone formation and resorption to ensure skeletal homeostasis. This process differs between bone types, with trabecular bone often associated with higher turnover than cortical bone. Analyses of bone by micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) reveal changes in structure and mineral content, but are limited in the study of metabolic activity at a single time point, while analyses of serum markers can reveal changes in bone metabolism, but cannot delineate the origin of any aberrant findings. To obtain a site-specific assessment of bone metabolic status, bisphosphonate binding kinetics were utilized. Using a fluorescently-labeled bisphosphonate, we show that early binding kinetics monitored in vivo using fluorescent molecular tomography (FMT) can monitor changes in bone metabolism in response to bone loss, stimulated by ovariectomy (OVX), or bone gain, resulting from treatment with the anabolic bone agent parathyroid hormone (PTH), and is capable of distinguishing different, metabolically distinct skeletal sites. Using time-lapse micro-CT, longitudinal bone turnover was quantified. The spine showed a significantly greater percent resorbing volume and surface in response to OVX, while mice treated with PTH showed significantly greater resorbing volume per bone surface in the spine and significantly greater forming surfaces in the knee. Correlation studies between binding kinetics and micro-CT suggest that forming surfaces, as assessed by time-lapse micro-CT, are preferentially reflected in the rate constant values while forming and resorbing bone volumes primarily affect plateau values. Additionally, we developed a blood pool correction method which now allows for quantitative multi-compartment analyses to be conducted using FMT. These results further expand our understanding of bisphosphonate binding and the use of bisphosphonate binding kinetics as a tool to monitor site-specific changes in bone metabolism in vivo.

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