Objective: to evaluate the applicability, precision, and accuracy of the new EchoMRI quantitative magnetic resonance (QMR) method for in-vitro bovine bone analysis and in-vivo whole-body-composition analysis of conscious live mice.
Research methods and procedures: bovine tibia bone samples were measured by QMR and dual-energy X-ray adsorptiometry (DEXA). Repeated measures of whole-body composition were made using live and dead mice with different levels of fat by QMR and DEXA and by classic chemical analysis of the mouse carcass.
Results: bone-mineral density (BMD) and bone-mineral content (BMC) measured in bovine tibia by QMR and DEXA were highly correlated. Precision of fat and lean measurement in mice was found to be better for QMR than for DEXA. The coefficient of variation ( CV) for fat was 0.34-0.71% for QMR compared with 3.06-12.60% for DEXA.
Discussion: QMR offers more specific parameters of bone structure than does DEXA. QMR and DEXA did not differ in the total amount of fat detected in live mice but QMR had improved precision. QMR was superior to DEXA in measuring fat in very small mice.
Conclusions: in bone tissue there is a strong correlation between hydrogen NMR signal and bone-mineral density as measured by X-ray. QMR provides a very precise, accurate, fast, and easy to use method for determining fat and lean mass of mice without the need for anesthesia. Its ability to detect differences and monitor changes in body composition in mice with great precision should be of great value in characterizing phenotypes and studying drugs affecting obesity.