Bone is functionally impaired in dystrophic mice but less so than skeletal muscle

Susan A. Novotny, Gordon L. Warren, Angela S. Lin, Robert E. Guldberg, Kristen A. Baltgalvis, Dawn A. Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The primary purpose of this study was to determine if tibial bone strength is compromised in dystrophic mice and if so, what geometric and material properties contribute. Results of three-point bending tests showed that tibia of mdx and dko (dystrophin- and utrophin-deficient) mice had up to 50% lower strength and stiffness compared to wild-type mice. Micro-computed tomography indicated that dystrophic tibia had reductions of 6-57% in cortical cross-sectional moment of inertia and cross-sectional area. Metaphyseal trabecular bone morphometry was also altered up to 78% in dystrophic mice. Bone-to-muscle functional ratios (i.e., three-point bending measures:muscle strength) indicated that bone strength was relatively high in 7-week-old dystrophic mice compared to muscle strength, but ratios were similar to wild-type mice by 24. months of age. Young dystrophic mice have compromised bone strength; these models may be useful for designing therapeutic regimens aimed at improving the skeleton.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-193
Number of pages11
JournalNeuromuscular Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Our research has been supported by grants from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (Research Grant 114071 ) and the National Institutes of Health ( P30-AR057220 ).


  • Bone geometry
  • Bone strength
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Mdx mouse
  • μCT


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