2009 Volume 71 Issue 11 Pages 1493-1497
To determine how to eliminate species difference in animal bone experiment, bone mineral content (BMC) was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) on the femurs of laboratory mice (Mus musculus) and rats (Rattus norvegicus), and common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). Measures were taken on femurs in situ, detached from the body, skinned and defleshed, or dried completely. When the BMC of the bone measured in the intact limb attached to the trunk was set at 100%, the actual BMC of the dry bone was 58.7 ± 11.5% in mice and 103.2 ± 3.2% in rats. Similarly, the bone area (Area) and bone mineral density (BMD) of the dried femur was significantly lower in the mouse femurs than intact limb. Thus, soft limb tissue such as skin and muscle modified the BMC, Area, and BMD only in mouse but not in those from rats or marmosets. The bone mineral ratio (BMR; BMC divided by dry bone weight) was nearest to the human bone value in the rat femurs, whereas the mouse femur BMR was the most different. The BMR was proved to be a practical index in evaluating bone characteristics in laboratory animals, but the mouse femur might not be suitable as an animal model for research into the aging of human bone.