Effect of whole-body vibration on bone properties in aging mice

Karl H. Wenger, James D. Freeman, Sadanand Fulzele, David M. Immel, Brian D. Powell, Patrick Molitor, Yuh J. Chao, Hong Sheng Gao, Mohammed Elsalanty, Mark W. Hamrick, Carlos M. Isales, Jack C. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Recent studies suggest that whole-body vibration (WBV) can improve measures of bone health for certain clinical conditions and ages. In the elderly, there also is particular interest in assessing the ability of physical interventions such as WBV to improve coordination, strength, and movement speed, which help prevent falls and fractures and maintain ambulation for independent living. The current study evaluated the efficacy of WBV in an aging mouse model. Two levels of vibration - 0.5 and 1.5. g - were applied at 32. Hz to CB57BL/6 male mice (n=9 each) beginning at age 18. months and continuing for 12. weeks, 30. min/day, in a novel pivoting vibration device. Previous reports indicate that bone parameters in these mice begin to decrease substantially at 18. months, equivalent to mid-fifties for humans. Micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) and biomechanical assessments were made in the femur, radius, and lumbar vertebra to determine the effect of these WBV magnitudes and durations in the aging model. Sera also were collected for analysis of bone formation and breakdown markers. Mineralizing surface and cell counts were determined histologically.Bone volume in four regions of the femur did not change significantly, but there was a consistent shift toward higher mean density in the bone density spectrum (BDS), with the two vibration levels producing similar results. This new parameter represents an integral of the conventional density histogram. The amount of high density bone statistically improved in the head, neck, and diaphysis. Biomechanically, there was a trend toward greater stiffness in the 1.5. g group (p=0.139 vs. controls in the radius), and no change in strength. In the lumbar spine, no differences were seen due to vibration. Both vibration groups significantly reduced pyridinoline crosslinks, a collagen breakdown marker. They also significantly increased dynamic mineralization, MS/BS. Furthermore, osteoclasts were most numerous in the 1.5. g group (p≤0.05). These findings suggest that some benefits of WBV found in previous studies of young and mature rodent models may extend to an aging population. Density parameters indicated 0.5. g was more effective than 1.5. g. Serological markers, by contrast, favored 1.5. g, while biomechanically and histologically the results were mixed. Although the purported anabolic effect of WBV on bone homeostasis may depend on location and the parameter of interest, this emerging therapy at a minimum does not appear to compromise bone health by the measures studied here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-755
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Aging
  • Bone biomechanics
  • Computed tomography
  • Femur
  • Whole-body vibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Histology


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