Growth hormone (GH) is important for skeletal growth as well as for a normal bone metabolism in adults. The skeletal growth and adult bone metabolism was studied in mice with an inactivated growth hormone receptor (GHR) gene. The lengths of femur, tibia, and crown-rump were, as expected, decreased in GHR-/- mice. Unexpectedly, GHR-/- mice displayed disproportional skeletal growth reflected by decreased femur/crown-rump and femur/tibia ratios. GHR-/- mice demonstrated decreased width of the growth plates in the long bones and disturbed ossification of the proximal tibial epiphysis. Furthermore, the area bone mineral density (BMD) as well as the bone mineral content (BMC)/body weight were markedly decreased in GHR-/- mice. The decrease in BMC in GHR-/- mice was not due to decreased trabecular volumetric BMD but to a decreased cross-sectional cortical bone area In conclusion, GHR-/- mice demonstrate disproportional skeletal growth and markedly decreased bone mineral content.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.