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Histol Histopathol. 2004 Jul;19(3):677-85. doi: 10.14670/HH-19.677.

Ultrastructural changes in bones of the senescence-accelerated mouse (SAMP6): a murine model for senile osteoporosis.

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Department of Anatomy, Gifu University School of Medicine, Gifu, Japan.


SAMP6, a substrain of senescence-accelerated mice, was developed as an animal model for senile osteoporosis. In the present study, we investigated the bone morphology, together with serum calcium and bone mineral density (BMD) in SAMP6 and age-matched normal mice SAMR1. We did not find any significant differences between SAMR1 and SAMP6 at 1 month of age with regard to the serum compositions and bone morphology. As compared with SAMR1, BMD, the femoral weight, femoral calcium and phosphorus levels were significantly reduced in SAMP6 at 2 and 5 months of age. The number of osteoblasts in trabecular bones was also significantly reduced. Swollen mitochondria and myelin-like structures were found in osteoblasts and osteocytes of SAMP6 mice at 2 and 5 months of age. There was a greater proportion of resting surface and less forming surface in the femoral endosteal surfaces of SAMP6 mice. The amount of trabecular bone in the lumbar vertebra and the distal metaphysis of the femur was reduced. The number of the mast cells in bone marrow of the tibia significantly increased in SAMP6 mice. These findings indicate that the lower bone mass in SAMP6 was due to the reduction in osteoblast formation and suggested that mast cells in bone marrows play a role in the pathogenesis of senile osteoporosis.

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