This study aimed to assess the effects of chronic sleep deprivation (CSD) on bone mass and bone metabolism in rats.
Twenty-four rats were randomly divided into CSD and control (CON) groups. Rats were subjected to CSD by using the modified multiple platform method (MMPM) to establish an animal model of CSD. Biochemical parameters such as levels of serum N-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen (PINP), N-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen (NTX), growth hormone (GH), estradiol (E2), serum 25(OH)D, and calcium (Ca) were evaluated at 0, 1, 2, and 3 months. After 3 months, each fourth lumbar vertebra and the distal femoral metaphysis of the left extremity of rats were harvested for micro-computed tomography scans and histological analysis, respectively, after the rats were sacrificed under an overdose of pentobarbital sodium.
Compared with rats from the CON group, rats from the CSD group showed significant decreases in bone mineral density (BMD), bone volume over total volume, trabecular bone thickness, and trabecular bone number and significant increases in bone surface area over bone volume and trabecular bone separations (P < 0.05). Bone histomorphology studies showed that rats in the CSD group had decreased osteogenesis, impaired mineralization of newly formed bones, and deteriorative trabecular bone in the secondary spongiosa zone. In addition, they showed significantly decreased levels of serum PINP (1 month later) and NTX (3 months later) (P < 0.05). The serum 25(OH)D level of rats from the CSD group was lower than that of rats from the CON group after 1 month (P < 0.05).
CSD markedly affects bone health by decreasing BMD and 25(OH)D, deteriorating the bone microarchitecture, and decreasing bone formation and bone resorption markers.