Osteoporosis prevention in an extraordinary hibernating bear

Seth W. Donahue, Samantha J. Wojda, Meghan E. McGee-Lawrence, Janene Auger, Hal L. Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Disuse osteoporosis results from physical inactivity. Reduced mechanical loading of bone stimulates bone resorption leading to bone loss, decreased mechanical properties, and increased fracture risk. Compensatory mechanisms evolved in hibernators to preserve skeletal muscle and bone during the prolonged physical inactivity that occurs during annual hibernation. This paper reports the preservation of bone properties in an exceptionally old black bear that was physically inactive for about 6 months annually for 31 years. The biological mechanisms that preserve bone during prolonged disuse during hibernation are also reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115845
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Bone adaptation
  • Bone remodeling
  • Disuse osteoporosis
  • Hibernation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Histology


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