Seasonal changes in bone metabolism in sheep

Arens, Daniel; Sigrist, Ilonka; Alini, Mauro; Schawalder, Peter; Schneider, Erich; Egermann, Marcus (2006). Seasonal changes in bone metabolism in sheep. Veterinary journal, 174(3), pp. 585-591. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.tvjl.2006.10.001

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There is a great need for animal models of osteoporosis and sheep are a suitable large animal that meets most requirements. Since it is known that bone mass in humans responds to seasonal changes, this study investigated natural bone metabolism in sheep in order to better define the sheep as a model for osteoporosis. Bone mineral density (BMD), trabecular structure, biochemical markers of bone formation and resorption and estrogen were analysed over a period of 18 months. The lowest BMDs, measured by peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT), were observed during winter. Thereafter, a 5.1% increase in BMD was observed during spring and summer (P<0.05). Bone resorption markers showed a variable pattern, with higher values in spring compared to autumn (P<0.001). The physiological estrus phase during autumn was detected by serum estrogen levels. The findings show that it is necessary to take seasonal variations into account if sheep are used to establish an animal model for osteoporosis.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Small Animal Clinic

UniBE Contributor:

Schawalder, Peter








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:50

Last Modified:

08 Jun 2016 10:40

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Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 5005)

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