Recent research has found that mice with high blood pressure lose more bone than those without the condition. As humans age, their bones become weaker and more brittle as a result of chronic inflammation which can lead to osteoporosis-related fractures when not treated properly. The team suggests treatments for this type of hypertension throughout early adulthood might help prevent further damage during later years. However, they also say it’s important we find out how prevalent these traits are among younger individuals so treatment options exist if needed.
High blood pressure is a common disease that can also be associated with osteoporosis. In this study, researchers found inflammation to exist in mice that was linked to high blood pressure. From inducing young mice with high blood pressure they showed bone loss and osteoporosis related damage to bones comparable to older mice.
The team discovered that more pro-inflammatory immune cells in the bone marrow might be leading to damage on bones. That finding could lead towards developing treatments for osteoporosis and fragility fractures, as well as protecting people from having a lower quality of life because they have increased risks due to their high blood pressure levels.
Following inducing hypertension to young mice the researchers compared them to older mice without the condition. This was to assess whether high blood pressure is associated with bone aging. After six weeks, the mice that had received the drug angiotensin II had progressed more rapidly than a control group of 12 younger animals and they showed increased evidence for wrinkles on their bones. Bone health was determined by density of strength of the bone. Mathematical algorithms were used to estimate the possible effects of aging and hypertension on the strength and microstructure of the bone in the mice.
When compared to the young mice without hypertension, the young mice with induced hypertension had a 24% reduction in bone volume fraction, 18 percent less thickness of the sponge like trabecular bone which is located at end long bones such as spinal column and femurs and a 34% reduction in likely failure force. The estimated failure force for these younger animals was much higher than those that were elderly or had been given hypertension injections. This may be because they haven’t experienced enough wear-and tear on their bodies yet so there isn’t any major risk factors involved other then age itself.
The researchers found that when older mice were given an angiotensin II infusion, they did not show signs of bone loss like the younger ones did. However, during this same experiment with either high blood pressure or not-hypertensive but still aging factors present in their system, these animals’ osteoporosis was treated as if it was 15 – 25 human years old.
This heightened elevation in active immune cells told them that the older mice are overall more inflamed and that an ongoing inflammation level, whether they had high blood pressure or not, might be a determining factor on bone health. It seemed that high blood pressure was changing the remodeling process of bone towards loss of bone rather than gain of bone or equilibrium of bone in the hypertensive younger mice. This resulted in bone that will be weaker, leading to an increase for fragility fractures and osteoporosis. This may mean that we should be screening people for osteoporosis who have high blood pressure.
These exciting findings could help further our understanding of the immune cells and mechanisms that play a role in human bone health. This knowledge may lead to new approaches for preventing osteoporosis before adulthood, bringing us one step closer towards healthy bones.
To view the original scientific study click below:
High blood pressure may accelerate bone aging