TitleHistological analysis of bone.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsIwaniec, UT, Wronski, TJ, Turner, RT
JournalMethods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
Date Published2008
KeywordsTissue Fixation

Bone is an important target tissue for alcohol. Moderate alcohol consumption may slow bone loss during aging, but alcohol consumption inhibits bone growth during adolescence, and alcohol abuse in adults is an important risk factor for osteoporosis. Various techniques have been applied for evaluating the impact of alcohol on bone, including densitometry for assessment of bone mass and density, computed tomography for evaluation of bone microarchitecture, serum biochemistry for measurement of markers of global bone resorption and formation, and histomorphometry for assessment of cellular activity. Of these methods, histomorphometry is the gold standard for assessing bone because it is the only method for the direct in situ analysis of bone cells and their activities. The procedures described in this chapter provide tools for the histomorphometric characterization of the effects of alcohol on cancellous and cortical bone growth and turnover. Specifically detailed are processes for embedding, cutting, staining, and evaluating histological bone specimens with a focus on rodent models.