I devised a method for obtaining information on cancellous bone structure from iliac bone histomorphometry that led to the demonstration that architecture is an important component of bone strength and bone fragility. Furthermore, this method contributed to the recognition of the importance of changes in osteoclast and osteocyte apoptosis in response to estrogen deficiency and replacement.
A. Michael Parfitt
Estrogens attenuate osteoclast generation and life span via cell-autonomous actions mediated by estrogen receptor α.
Loss of these actions is sufficient for loss of bone in the cancellous compartment, in which complete perforation of trabeculae by osteoclastic resorption precludes subsequent refilling of the cavities by the bone-forming osteoblasts. The direction of BMU advance is not shown because of the section plane. Image courtesy of Robert Weinstein and reproduced with permission from Springer (