The effect of aging on the density of the sensory nerve fiber innervation of bone and acute skeletal pain

Juan M. Jimenez-Andrade, William G. Mantyh, Aaron P. Bloom, Katie T. Freeman, Joseph R. Ghilardi, Michael A. Kuskowski, Patrick W. Mantyh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

As humans age there is a decline in most sensory systems including vision, hearing, taste, smell, and tactile acuity. In contrast, the frequency and severity of musculoskeletal pain generally increases with age. To determine whether the density of sensory nerve fibers that transduce skeletal pain changes with age, calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) and neurofilament 200 kDa (NF200) sensory nerve fibers that innervate the femur were examined in the femurs of young (4-month-old), middle-aged (13-month-old) and old (36-month-old) male F344/BNF1 rats. Whereas the bone quality showed a significant age-related decline, the density of CGRP+ and NF200+ nerve fibers that innervate the bone remained remarkably unchanged as did the severity of acute skeletal fracture pain. Thus, while bone mass, quality, and strength undergo a significant decline with age, the density of sensory nerve fibers that transduce noxious stimuli remain largely intact. These data may in part explain why musculoskeletal pain increases with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-932
Number of pages12
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2012

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Analgesia
  • Elderly
  • Fracture healing
  • Orthopedic
  • Periosteum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Jimenez-Andrade, J. M., Mantyh, W. G., Bloom, A. P., Freeman, K. T., Ghilardi, J. R., Kuskowski, M. A., & Mantyh, P. W. (2012). The effect of aging on the density of the sensory nerve fiber innervation of bone and acute skeletal pain. Neurobiology of Aging, 33(5), 921-932. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2010.08.008