Aging is associated with gradual bone loss in men and premenopausal women, with an accelerated rate of loss after menopause in women. Although many studies have investigated bone loss due to surgically induced estrogen depletion, little is known regarding normal age-related changes in bone mass in animal models. We used dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to measure bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral content (BMC), and projected area (PA) at four skeletal sites over 4 years in 20 premenopausal female (8-23 years) and 29 male (8-27 years) rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Forearm BMD declined with age in both male and female monkeys. Lean mass was positively associated with BMD at all sites in males and with the distal radius in females. Serum osteocalcin declined and urinary cross-links increased with age in males but not females. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations decreased with age in females, and a similar trend was observed in males. In conclusion, an age-related decline in forearm BMD was observed in male and female rhesus monkeys. Total body BMC declined over time in older females, with a similar trend in males. Changes in markers of bone turnover with age were also observed in male monkeys. The results of this longitudinal study suggest that the rhesus monkey is a potential model for age-related changes in the human skeleton.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Bone loss
- Bone turnover
- Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)
- Nonhuman primates