Gender- and compartment-specific bone loss in C57BL/6J mice: correlation to season?

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Animals, Body-Composition, Bone-Density, Femur, Insulin-Like-Growth-Factor-I, Isoenzymes, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Models-Animal, Osteocalcin, Tomography-X-Ray-Computed

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J Clin Densitom 2009 Jan-Mar; 12(1):89-94.


Seasonal variation in bone mineral density (BMD) has been documented in humans, and has been attributed to changes in 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] synthesis. To test the hypothesis that seasonal changes in bone mass occur in laboratory mice, we measured body composition, femoral bone phenotypes, and serum bone markers in 16-wk-old male and female C57BL/6 (B6) mice during the summer (June-August) and winter (December-February) months at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. Both male and female B6 mice had higher volumetric BMD in the summer than winter. Females showed reduced trabecular bone, whereas males showed changes in bone volume. Males, but not females, had higher insulin-like growth factor 1 in summer than in winter, and only males showed an increase in body weight during the winter. No seasonal differences in serum TRAP5b, osteocalcin, or 25(OH)D were noted for either sex. We conclude that seasonal variation in skeletal and body composition parameters in B6 mice is significant and must be considered when performing longitudinal phenotyping of the skeleton. Further studies are needed to determine the environmental factors that cue seasonal changes in body composition and the mechanisms that produce these changes.

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