Genetic analyses for loci regulating bone mineral density have been conducted in a cohort of F(2) mice derived from intercross matings of (C57BL/6J x CAST/EiJ)F(1) parents. Femurs were isolated from 714 4-month-old females when peak adult bone density had been achieved. Bone mineral density (BMD) data were obtained by peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT), and genotype data were obtained by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) assays for polymorphic markers carried in genomic DNA of each mouse. Genome-wide scans for co-segregation of genetic marker data with high or low BMD revealed loci on eight different chromosomes, four of which (Chrs 1, 5, 13, and 15) achieved conservative statistical criteria for suggestive, significant, or highly significant linkage with BMD. These four quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were confirmed by a linear regression model developed to describe the main effects; none of the loci exhibited significant interaction effects by ANOVA. The four QTLs have been named Bmd1 (Chr 1), Bmd2 (Chr 5), Bmd3 (Chr 13), and Bmd4 (Chr 15). Additive effects were observed for Bmd1, recessive for Bmd3, and dominant effects for Bmd2 and Bmd4. The current large size of the QTL regions (6-->31 cM) renders premature any discussion of candidate genes at this time. Fine mapping of these QTLs is in progress to refine their genetic positions and to evaluate human homologies.