Involvement of sensory neurons in bone defect repair in rats

Akiko Henmi, Megumi Nakamura, Seishi Echigo, Yasuyuki Sasano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated bone repair in sensory-denervated rats, compared with controls, to elucidate the involvement of sensory neurons. Nine-week-old male Wistar rats received subcutaneous injections of capsaicin to denervate sensory neurons. Rats treated with the same amount of vehicle served as controls. A standardized bone defect was created on the parietal bone. We measured the amount of repaired bone with quantitative radiographic analysis and the mRNA expressions of osteocalcin and cathepsin K with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Quantitative radiographic analysis showed that the standard deviations and coefficients of variation for the amount of repaired bone were much higher in the capsaicin-treated group than in the control group at any time point, which means that larger individual differences in the amount of repaired bone were found in capsaicin-treated rats than controls. Furthermore, radiographs showed radiolucency in pre-existing bone surrounding the standardized defect only in the capsaicin-treated group, and histological observation demonstrated some multinuclear cells corresponding to the radiolucent area. Real-time PCR indicated that there was no significant difference in the mRNA expression levels of osteocalcin and cathepsin K between the control group and the capsaicin-treated group. These results suggest that capsaicin-induced sensory denervation affects the bone defect repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-400
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Electron Microscopy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec


  • Bone repair
  • Capsaicin
  • Osteoclasts
  • Radiographic analysis
  • Rats
  • Sensory neuron


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