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Primates., 2003; 44(2): 151-5, PMID: 12687479

Bone mineral density in chimpanzees, humans, and Japanese macaques

Year: 2003

Kikuchi Y, Udono T, Hamada Y
Department of Anatomy, Saga Medical School, 5-1-1 Nabeshima, Saga 849-8501, Japan.


We performed a comparative study of bone mechanical properties in the radii of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), humans (Homo sapiens), and Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) using peripheral quantitative computed tomography. We investigated: (1)cortical bone area relative to the total periosteal area (PrA); (2) trabecular bone area relative to PrA; (3) cortical bone density; and (4) trabecular bone density. The cortical bone area index for chimpanzees was almost the same as that of Japanese macaques, whereas the equivalent value in humans was about the two-fifths that of the others. Values for the other three properties were constant among these three catarrhine species. Chimpanzees do not particularly resemble humans, but are more similar to digitigrade macaques in terms of bone properties. The constant trabecular bone area index and trabecular density value in these species may suggest that a certain amount of trabecular bone (20-30% of total bone area at the distal 4% level of the forearm) is necessary to achieve normal bone turnover. The physiological metabolism of bone, including cortical bone density, might be conserved in these catarrhines.

GID: 1257; Last update: 06.03.2008