Buscar en
Endocrinología y Nutrición (English Edition)
Toda la web
Inicio Endocrinología y Nutrición (English Edition) Growth-dependent effects of dietary protein concentration and quality on the bio...
Journal Information
Vol. 59. Issue 1.
Pages 35-43 (January 2012)
Download PDF
More article options
Vol. 59. Issue 1.
Pages 35-43 (January 2012)
Original article
Full text access
Growth-dependent effects of dietary protein concentration and quality on the biomechanical properties of the diaphyseal rat femur
Rosa M. Alippia, Emilio Picassob, Patricia Huygensa, Carlos E. Bozzinia,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
, Clarisa Bozzinia
a Department of Physiology, Faculty of Odontology, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1122, Argentina
b Department of Statistics, Faculty of Engineering, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1122, Argentina
Article information

This study compares the effects of feeding growing rats with increasing concentra-tions of casein (C) and wheat gluten (G), proteins that show different biological qualities, on the morphometrical and biomechanical properties of the femoral diaphysis.

Materials and methods

Female rats were fed with one of ten diets containing different con-centrations (5–30%) of C and G between the 30th and 90th days of life (Control = C-20%). Biomechanical structural properties of the right femur middiaphysis were estimated using a 3-point bending mechanical test with calculation of some indicators of bone material properties.


Body weight and length were affected by treatments, values being highest in rats fed the C-20% diet. G diets affected negatively both parameters. Changes in cross-sectional geome-try (mid-diaphyseal cross-sectional and cortical areas, femoral volume, and rectangular moment of inertia) were positively related to the C content of the diet, while they were severely and negatively affected by G diets. Similar behaviors were observed in the bone structural properties (fracture load, yielding load, diaphyseal stiffness and elastic energy absorption). When values of strength and stiffness were normalized for body weight, the differences disappeared. The bone material quality indicators (elastic modulus, yielding stress, elastic energy absorption/volume) did not differ significantly among all studied groups. Femoral calcium concentration in ashes was not significantly different among groups.


The clear differences in strength and stiffness of bone beams induced by dietary protein concentration and quality seemed to be the result of an induced subnormal gain in bone structural properties as a consequence of a correlative subnormal gain in bone growth and mass, yet not in bone material properties.

Wheat gluten
Bone biomechanics

Este estudio compara los efectos sobre las propiedades morfométricas y biomecáni-cas de la diáfisis femoral de ratas en edad de crecimiento de dos proteínas dietarias, caseína (C) y gluten de trigo (G), que muestran características biológicas diferentes, ofrecidas en concentraciones crecientes en las dietas utilizadas.

Material y métodos

Ratas hembras fueron alimentadas entre los días 30 y 90 de sus vidas con una de diez dietas que contenían concentraciones diferentes (5–30%) de C y G (Controles = C al 20%). Se estimaron las propiedades biomecánicas estructurales de la parte media de la diáfisis del fémur derecho mediante la prueba mecánica de flexión a tres puntos calculándose, además, algunos indicadores de las propiedades biomecánicas del material óseo.


Los tratamientos afectaron al peso corporal y a la talla, con valores más elevados en aquellas ratas alimentadas con la dieta C al 20%. Las dietas conteniendo G afectaron en forma negativa a ambos parámetros. Los cambios en la geometría de la sección transversal (áreas de la sección transversal de la parte media de la diáfisis y cortical, volumen del fémur y momento rectangular de inercia) mostraron una correlación positiva con la concentración de C en las dietas, mientras que fueron severa y negativamente afectados por la presencia de G en las mismas. Se observaron comportamientos similares en las propiedades estructurales del hueso (carga o resistencia a fractura, punto de cesión, rigidez diafisaria y absorción de energía durante el período elástico). Cuando los valores de rigidez y resistencia diafisarias fueron nor-malizados por el peso corporal, desaparecieron las diferencias. Los indicadores de la calidad biomecánica del material óseo (módulo de elasticidad, estrés elástico límite, absorción elástica de energía/volumen óseo) no fueron estadísticamente diferentes entre los grupos estudiados. La concentración de calcio femoral no mostró diferencias entre grupos.


Las diferencias significativas de rigidez y resistencia entre las diáfisis femorales inducidas por la concentración y calidad de las proteínas dietarias parecieran ser el resultado de la ganancia subnormal de las mismas como consecuencia de una ganancia también subnormal del crecimiento y de la masa ósea, sin alteraciones de las propiedades materiales.

Palabras clave:
Gluten de trigo
Biomecánica ósea
Full text is only aviable in PDF
J.L. Ferretti, R.F. Capozza, N. Mondelo, J.R. Zanchetta.
Interrela-tionships between densitometric, geometric, and mechanical properties of rat femora: interferences concerning mechanical regulation of bone modeling.
J Bone Miner Res., 8 (1993), pp. 1389-1396
R.B. Burr.
The relationships among physical, geometrical and mechanical properties of bone, with a note on the prop-erties of nonhuman primate bone.
Yearb Phys Anthropol., 23 (1980), pp. 109-146
Currey JD. The mechanical adaptation of bones. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press; 1884.
H.M. Frost.
Bone mass and the “mechanostats”. A proposal.
Anat Rec., 219 (1966), pp. 1-9
H.M. Frost.
Strain and other mechanical influences on bone strength and maintenance.
Curr Opin Orthop., 8 (1987), pp. 60-70
J.L. Ferretti, R.D. Tessaro, C.J. Delgado, C.E. Bozzini, R.M. Alippi, A.C. Barceló.
Biomechanical performance of diaphyseal shafts and bone tissue of femurs from protein-restricted rats.
Bone Miner., 4 (1988), pp. 329-339
J.L. Ferretti, R.F. Capozza, G. Cointry, C. Bozzini, R.M. Alippi, C.E. Bozzini.
Additive effects of dietary protein and energy deficiencies on diaphysis and bone tissue of rat femurs as deter-mined by bending tests.
Acta Physiol Pharmacol Ther Latinoam., 41 (1991), pp. 253-262
P. Ammann, S. Bourrin, J.P. Bonjour, J.M. Meyer, R. Rizzoli.
Protein-undernutrition-induced bone loss is associated with decresed IGF-I levels and estrogen deficiency.
J Bone Miner Res., 15 (2000), pp. 683-690
S. Hensberger, P. Ammann, B. Legros.
Intrinsic bone tissue prop-erties in rat adult vertebrae: modulation by dietary protein.
A. Mavropoulos, R. Rizzoli, P. Ammann.
Different responsiveness of alveolar and tibial bone to bone loss stimuli.
J Bone Miner Res., 22 (2007), pp. 403-410
Bozzini C, Olivera MI, Champin G, Alippi RM, Bozzini CE. Bone mineral density and bone strength from the mandible of chron-ically protein restricted rats. Acta Odon Latinoam. 2011;24. in press.
M. Lee, G.S. Myers.
The effect of protein-energy malnutri-tion on appositional bone growth in the rat.
Experientia., 35 (1979), pp. 824-825
J.H. Himes.
Bone growth and development in protein-calorie mal-nutrition.
World Rev Nutr Diet., 28 (1978), pp. 143-187
T. Nakamoto, S.A. Miller.
The effect of protein-energy malnu-trition on the development of bones in newborn rats.
J Nutr., 109 (1979), pp. 1469-1476
P.L. Glick, D.J. Rowe.
Effect of chronic protein deficiency on skeletal development of young rats.
Calcif Tissue Int., 33 (1981), pp. 223-231
A.C. Barceló, R.M. Alippi, H.M. Pucciarelli, M.E. Río, C.E. Bozzini.
Growth of the functional components of the rat skull in protein deficiency.
Acta Physiol Latinoam., 33 (1983), pp. 85-87
H.M. Pucciarelli, E.E. Oyhenart, M.C. Muñe.
Alterations in protein and mineral contents of rat skull bones, evoked by different protein levels of the diet.
Acta Anat., 117 (1983), pp. 331-338
L.P. Mercer, D.F. Watson, J.S. Ramlet.
Control of food intake in the rat by dietary protein concentration.
J Nutr., 111 (1981), pp. 1117-1123
R.A. Burns, M.H. Lefaivre, J.A. Milner.
Effect of dietary protein quantity and quality on the growth of dogs and rats.
J Nutr., 112 (1982), pp. 1843-1853
A.C. Barceló, R.M. Alippi, M.E. Rio, C.E. Bozzini.
Effect of dietary protein concentration in the post-weaning period on red cell volume of the male rat.
Nutr Rep Int., 28 (1983), pp. 393-398
C. Bozzini, A.C. Barceló, R.M. Alippi, T.L. Leal, C.E. Bozzini.
The concentration of dietary casein required for normal mandibular growth in the rat.
J Dent Res., 68 (1989), pp. 840-842
C.H. Turner, D.B. Burr.
Basic biomechanical measurements of bone: a tutorial.
Bone., 14 (1993), pp. 595-608
H.A. Hogan, J.A. Groves, H.W. Simpson.
Long-term alcohol consump-tion in the rat affects cross-sectional geometry and bone tissue material properties.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res., 23 (1999), pp. 1825-1833
J.B. Willis.
Determination of calcium and magnesium in urine by atomic absorption spectroscopy.
Anal Chem., 33 (1961), pp. 556-559
J.L. Ferretti, R.D. Tessaro, E.O. Andisio.
Long term effects of high and low calcium intakes and of lack of parathyroid function on rat femur biomechanics.
Calcif Tissue Int., 37 (1985), pp. 608-612
J.C. Edozien, B.R. Switzed.
Influence of diet on growth in the rat.
J Nutr., 108 (1978), pp. 282-290
J.P. Miller, R.Z. German.
Protein malnutrition affects the growth trajectories of the craniofacial skeleton in the rat.
J Nutr., 129 (1999), pp. 2061-2069
F.G. Evans, M. Lebow.
The strength of human bone as revealed by engineering techniques.
Am J Surg., 83 (1952), pp. 326-331

Please cite this article as: Alippi RM, et al. Growth-dependent effects of dietary protein concentration and quality on the biomechanical properties of the diaphyseal rat femur. Endocrinol Nutr. 2012;59(1):35–43.

Copyright © 2011. SEEN
Article options
es en pt

¿Es usted profesional sanitario apto para prescribir o dispensar medicamentos?

Are you a health professional able to prescribe or dispense drugs?

Você é um profissional de saúde habilitado a prescrever ou dispensar medicamentos