Abstract # 19:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 17, 2006 11:30 AM-11:45 AM: Session 2 (Regency East #2) Oral Presentation

Rates of Osteopenia and Osteoporosis in Female Baboons (Papio hamadryas) from a Pedigreed Breeding Colony

L. M. Havill1, S. M. Levine1 and M. C. Mahaney1,2
1Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, 7620 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, TX 78227, USA, 2Southwest National Primate Research Center
     Osteoporosis is a progressive condition involving low bone mineral density (BMD) and increased susceptibility to fractures. While several different animal models have been essential to studies of BMD, Old World monkeys, like the baboon, share with humans important aspects of skeletal physiology that may make them extremely relevant for studies of skeletal aging in humans. To test the hypothesis that older baboon females (those at or above age 19, the average age of onset of perimenopause in these baboons) naturally develop osteopenia and osteoporosis, we measured BMD via Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry at the lumbar spine and forearm of 395 female baboons aged 7 to 30 years. Older females (N=54) were designated osteopenic or osteoporotic using criteria approximating those established by the World Health Organization for humans (osteopenic = BMD 1.0 to 2.49 standard deviations below the young adult mean; osteoporotic = BMD 2.5 or more standard deviations below the young adult mean). By these criteria ~25% of the older females are osteopenic and none are osteoporotic. This rate of osteopenia is slightly lower than rates reported for human females over the age of 50. Loss of BMD severe enough to be termed “osteoporosis” is not evident in the older females. Although not tested in this study, the lower rate of osteopenia and the absence of osteoporosis may be attributable in part to the shorter post-reproductive life of baboons relative to humans.