Skeletal System

Christopher Jerome, Benjamin Hoch, Cathy S. Carlson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


The main gross differences among the mouse, rat, and human skeletal systems, in addition to size, are skull and tail morphology, and the shape and orientation of the shoulder and pelvic girdle bones. Articular cartilage is thinner in rodents, and the subchondral bone plate is more variable in thickness. Long bone growth plates generally are obliterated in late adolescence in humans; however, in rodents, growth plate remnants persist throughout life, while longitudinal bone growth ceases by about 6 months. Histologically, the basic bone remodeling processes are similar. However, mouse and rat cortical bone rarely undergoes the Haversian remodeling seen in human bone, and the mouse and rat cortex mostly comprises circumferential lamellae rather than the osteonal structures common in humans. The distribution of adipose tissue differs between rodents and humans, with brown adipose tissue much less prevalent in adult humans than in rodents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComparative Anatomy and Histology
Subtitle of host publicationA Mouse, Rat, and Human Atlas, Second Edition
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780128029008
ISBN (Print)9780128029190
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Christopher Jerome and Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Bone
  • bone remodeling
  • cancellous bone
  • cartilage
  • cortical bone
  • growth plate
  • joint


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