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Calcif Tissue Int. 2004 May;74(5):469-75. Epub 2004 Feb 17.

Growth of C57BL/6 mice and the material and mechanical properties of cortical bone from the tibia.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Aberdeen, IMS Building, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, Scotland, UK.


Murine models are becoming increasingly important for studying skeletal growth and regulation because of the relative ease with which their genomes can be manipulated. This study measured the changes in cortical bone of tibiae from one of the more common models, the C57Bl/6, as a function of aging. A total of 97 mice, male and female, were studied at the ages of 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. The body weight of the animals, the length of the tibiae, the composition (in terms of mineral and organic mass fractions), and the density and modulus of the bone were measured. Peripheral quantitative computed tomography was also used to measure bone mineral density (BMD), total and cortical areas, and the cross-sectional moment of inertia. Most parameters measured followed a growth-like curve, which leveled off some time before 6 months of age. Bone composition and modulus were the same at maturity in both sexes, but there were sex-related differences in the modulus with aging. Dimensional measurements and the density of the bone showed significant differences between male and female animals at all ages, with the male mice having larger values. Skeletal maturity for most factors in C57Bl/6 mice has been reached before the age of 6 months.

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