Increasing evidence indicates a strong link between intestinal health and bone health. For example, inflammatory bowel disease can cause systemic inflammation, weight loss and extra-intestinal manifestations such as decreased bone growth and density. However, the effects of moderate intestinal inflammation without weight loss on bone health have never been directly examined; yet this condition is relevant not only to IBD but to conditions of increased intestinal permeability and inflammation as seen with ingestion of high fat diets, intestinal dysbiosis, irritable bowel syndrome, metabolic syndrome and food allergies. Here we induced moderate intestinal inflammation without weight loss in young male mice by treating with a low dose of DSS (1%) for 15 days. The mice displayed systemic changes marked by significant bone loss and a redistribution of fat from subcutaneous to visceral fat pad stores. Bone loss was caused by reduced osteoblast activity, characterized by decreased expression of osteoblast markers (runx 2, osteocalcin), histomorphometry and dynamic measures of bone formation. In addition, we observed a reduction in growth plate thickness and hypertrophic chondrocyte matrix components (collagen X). Correlation analyses indicate a link between gut inflammation and disease score, but more importantly we observed that bone density measures negatively correlated with intestinal disease score as well as colon and bone TNF levels. These studies demonstrate that colitis induced bone loss is not dependent upon weight loss and support a role for inflammation in the link between gut and bone health, an important area for future therapeutic development.
- bone density
- Copyright © 2016, American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology