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Short-term variability in biomarkers of bone metabolism in sheep

Lab Animal volume 43, pages 2126 (2014) | Download Citation



Changes in bone remodeling during pathological states and during their treatment can be assessed noninvasively by measuring biomarkers of bone metabolism. Their application is limited, however, by the potential biological variability in the levels of these biomarkers over time. To determine the short-term variability in biomarkers of bone metabolism in adult sheep, the authors measured serum levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BALP), osteocalcin (OC), N-terminal propeptide of type-III procollagen (PIIINP), deoxypyridinoline (DPD), tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), calcium and phosphorus intermittently over a 12-week period. There were significant differences in mean ALP activity and in phosphorus concentrations over time, but all other biomarkers showed no significant short-term variability. The results suggest that biomarkers of bone metabolism in sheep, especially the bone resorption marker DPD and the bone formation marker BALP, can be used reliably to detect changes in bone cellular activity.

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We thank Rita Murta, Paulo Limão and Alexandra Silva from ARIUM Enterprise, Portugal, for their technical assistance in the biomarkers of bone metabolism determination analysis. We also acknowledge the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology for supporting the doctoral scholarship of C.P.S.

Author information


  1. Department of Veterinary Sciences, School of Agrarian and Veterinary Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal.

    • Cristina P. Sousa
    •  & Isabel R. Dias
  2. 3B's Research Group–Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics, Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Minho, Caldas das Taipas/Guimarães, Portugal.

    • Cristina P. Sousa
    • , Rui L. Reis
    • , Manuela E. Gomes
    •  & Isabel R. Dias
  3. Life and Health Sciences Research Institute–ICVS/3B's, PT Government Associate Laboratory, Braga/Guimarães, Portugal.

    • Cristina P. Sousa
    • , Rui L. Reis
    • , Manuela E. Gomes
    •  & Isabel R. Dias
  4. Department of Animal Sciences, School of Agrarian and Veterinary Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal.

    • Jorge T. de Azevedo
  5. Center for Animal Sciences and Veterinary Studies–CECAV, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal.

    • Jorge T. de Azevedo


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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Isabel R. Dias.

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