Differences in vertebral structure and strength of inbred female mouse strains

M. P. Akhter, J. K. Otero, U. T. Iwaniec, D. M. Cullen, G. R. Haynatzki, R. R. Recker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This study assessed mouse strain-related differences in vertebral biomechanics and histomorphometry in inbred mice strains shown to differ in bone mineral content (BMC) and areal density (BMD) (as measured by pDEXA). Lumbar vertebrae L3 to L5 were collected from three mice strains (C3H/HeJ[C3], C57BL/6J[B6], and DBA/2J[D2], n=12/strain, 4-month-old female, 22.2±0.3g). BMC and BMD were measured in L3 and L4 using peripheral dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. The L4 vertebral body was then mechanically tested in compression to determine structural properties (ultimate/yield load, stiffness) from load-displacement curves and derive apparent material properties (ultimate/yield stress, and modulus of elasticity). L5 was processed for histomorphometric evaluation. Vertebral BMC and BMD were greater in C3 than in B6 and D2 mice. Vertebral trabecular/cancellous bone volume was smaller in C3 than in D2 and B6 mice. Trabecular bone formation rates were greater in D2 than in B6 and C3 mice. Osteoid surface was smaller in C3 mice than in B6 and D2 mice. Differences in osteoclast and mineralizing surfaces were not detected among the three mouse strains. In addition, there were no significant differences in biomechanical properties between the three strains. Despite the greatest BMC and areal BMD in C3 mice, the lack of strain-related differences in vertebral body strength data suggests that the biomechanical properties may be affected by the bone distribution and/or complex combination of cortical and cancellous bone at this site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Musculoskeletal Neuronal Interactions
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • B6
  • Bone strength
  • C3
  • D2
  • Density
  • Genetic
  • Histomorphometry
  • Mice
  • Strain
  • Vertebral body

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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