Body composition of prolactin-, growth hormone, and thyrotropin-deficient Ames dwarf mice

Endocrine. Feb-Mar 2003;20(1-2):149-54. doi: 10.1385/ENDO:20:1-2:149.


Ames dwarf mice have primary deficiency of prolactin (PRL), growth hormone (GH), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and live considerably longer than normal animals from the same line. In view of the documented effects of GH, PRL, and thyroid hormones on lean and fat body mass and skeletal growth, and the suspected relationship of body size and composition to life expectancy, it was of interest to examine age-related changes in body composition of Ames dwarf mice. Lean mass, fat mass, bone area, and bone mineral content (BMC) were determined in dwarf and normal mice at the ages of 2, 4.5 6, and 18 mo using dual X-ray absorptiometry. In addition to the expected significant declines in lean mass, bone area, and BMC, dwarf mice exhibited attenuation of the age-related increase in bone mineral density and delayed or attenuated increase in percentage of body fat. Percentage of body fat was lower in adult dwarfs than in the corresponding normal controls. Patterns of age-related changes in body composition in Ames dwarf mice are consistent with the recent report of age-related changes in body composition in PRL receptor knockout mice. We suspect that reduction in relative adiposity may contribute to the previously reported increase in insulin sensitivity of Ames dwarf mice and thus may be a factor in delayed aging and increased longevity of these animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / physiology
  • Aging / genetics
  • Animals
  • Body Composition / genetics*
  • Dwarfism, Pituitary / genetics
  • Dwarfism, Pituitary / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone / deficiency*
  • Longevity / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Prolactin / deficiency*
  • Thyrotropin / deficiency*


  • Prolactin
  • Thyrotropin
  • Growth Hormone