Smoking is a common risk factor for both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and osteoporosis. In patients with COPD, severe emphysema is a risk factor for vertebral fracture; however, the effects of smoking or emphysema on bone health remain largely unknown. We report bone deterioration in a mouse model of emphysema induced by nose-only cigarette smoke (CS) exposure. Unexpectedly, short-term exposure for 4-weeks decreased bone turnover and increased bone volume in mice. However, prolonged exposure for 20- and 40-weeks reversed the effects from suppression to promotion of bone resorption. This long-term CS exposure increased osteoclast number and impaired bone growth, while it increased bone volume. Strikingly, long-term CS exposure deteriorated bone quality of the lumbar vertebrae as illustrated by disorientation of collagen fibers and the biological apatite c-axis. This animal model may provide a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the deterioration of bone quality in pulmonary emphysema caused by smoking.
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