Strain dependent differences in glucocorticoid-induced bone loss between C57BL/6J and CD-1 mice

Adel Ersek, Ana I. Espirito Santo, Youridies Vattakuzhi, Saumya George, Andrew R. Clark, Nicole J. Horwood

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We have investigated the effect of long-term glucocorticoid (GC) administration on bone turnover in two frequently used mouse strains; C57BL/6J and CD1, in order to assess the influence of their genetic background on GC-induced osteoporosis (GIO). GIO was induced in 12 weeks old female C57BL/6J and CD1 mice by subcutaneous insertion of long-term release prednisolone or placebo pellets. Biomechanical properties as assessed by three point bent testing revealed that femoral elasticity and strength significantly decreased in CD1 mice receiving GC, whereas C57BL/6J mice showed no differences between placebo and prednisolone treatment. Bone turnover assessed by microcomputer tomography revealed that contrary to C57BL/6J mice, prednisolone treated CD1 mice developed osteoporosis. In vitro experiments have underlined that, at a cellular level, C57BL/6J mice osteoclasts and osteoblasts were less responsive to GC treatment and tolerated higher doses than CD1 cells. Whilst administration of long-term release prednisolone pellets provided a robust GIO animal model in 12 weeks old CD1 mice, age matched C57BL/6J mice were not susceptible to the bone changes associated with GIO. This study indicates that for the induction of experimental GIO, the mouse strain choice together with other factors such as age should be carefully evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36513
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Bone Density/drug effects
  • Bone Remodeling/drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Femur/drug effects
  • Glucocorticoids/pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Osteoblasts/drug effects
  • Osteoclasts/drug effects
  • Osteoporosis/chemically induced
  • Prednisolone/pharmacology

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