While skeletal metastasis in prostate cancer is a major and frequent complication, literature data on the mechanisms involved are quite confusing. Recent efforts, however, to establish appropriate animal models for skeletal metastasis have finally yielded positive results which may provide clarity in this discussion. Models involving both human prostate cancer cell transplantation in nude mice as well as syngeneic rat models have contributed to the accumulated evidence in favor of the hypothesis of Batson. According to this hypothesis, prostate tumor cells reach the vertebral venous plexus of the spine especially under transient conditions of increased intraabdominal pressure and lead to metastatic tumor deposits in the vertebrae. Animal models displaying skeletal metastasis in conjunction with analysis of pathological findings have been instrumental in validating this concept. It is to be expected that such animal models will contribute to the development and optimization of new treatment approaches for prostate cancer bone metastasis.