College

Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences (BCAS)

Date of Last Revision

2020-05-04 14:18:37

Major

Biology

Honors Course

3100:499:003

Number of Credits

3

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Fall 2019

Abstract

Bone is a dynamic tissue with the ability to remodel itself. This capability is facilitated via communication mechanisms through the osteocyte-lacunar-canalicular (LCN) network. Osteocytes are bone cells housed in small, hollow spaces called lacunae. Lacunae are linked by canals called canaliculi. A diminished network can lead to the inability to form bone following breakdown. A decrease in osteocyte-LCN density has been shown to correlate with aging (Ashique et al. 2017). This decline leads to the development of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis preferentially affects women. Prior studies have shown that women older than 50 are four times more likely to be osteoporotic when compared to their male counterparts (Alswat 2017). However, it is unclear why women are more affected. Furthermore, there is a gap in knowledge pertaining to the timing of osteocyte-LCN decrease. We hypothesize that a significant decrease in osteocyte-LCN volume will appear in females greater than age 45, suggesting a link to changes associated with menopause. Additionally, we anticipate that females will exhibit a lower osteocyte-LCN volume than males. By comparing volumetric measurements of the osteocyte LCN network between males and females across the lifespan, we hope to elucidate the timing of the large decline and draw conclusions across sexes.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Janna Andronowski

First Reader

Dr. Brian Bagatto

Second Reader

Dr. Jordan Renna

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Brian Bagatto

Comments

This project is part of a larger, ongoing publication. Therefore, the results of this project were not included in the idea exchange upload. A discussion of the results is also missing. To obtain the full text, including results and discussion, please contact the author.

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