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December 2, 2021 | OncoBone article

Applications of iNSiGHT DXA in bone and metabolic research

Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) is a widely used imaging technique in bone and metabolic research for quantitating bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition in small animals. After a 20-year history in developing devices for clinical use, in 2019 OsteoSys launched their first small-animal DXA that OncoBone is now proud to distribute to European markets. In this blog post, we summarize published scientific data where iNSiGHT has been used in bone and metabolic research.

Precision and accuracy

After its launch in 2019 iNSiGHT has already provided peer-reviewed publications, and the number is constantly increasing.

The first publication by Yeu and colleagues (1) evaluated the precision and accuracy of iNSiGHT DXA in measuring lean and fat mass in rats receiving two different diets. During the 8-week study period and longitudinal follow-up of the changes in lean and fat mass, they detected small CV and high R2 values for total body weight, total body fat mass, and total body lean mass. Their research was able to detect diet-induced changes over the 8-week study period in all parameters listed above.

To determine the ability of DXA to monitor changes in metabolic parameters, Baek and colleagues (2) studied the precision and accuracy of repeated measurements with iNSiGHT DXA and EchoMRI NMR in mice. Accuracy of the devices was determined by comparing the obtained results to tissue weights. Based on the results, fat and lean mass were more accurately determined by iNSiGHT DXA analysis than with the NMR measurements.

With these results it can be stated that iNSiGHT provides a predictive and accurate method for analyzing body composition in longitudinal studies.

Metabolic research – genetic background and environmental effects

Brown adipose tissue is an important regulator of body weight and metabolism. Ko and colleagues (3) studied effects of brown adipocyte -specific deletion of pink1 and observed brown adipose tissue dysfunction and prone obesity, which was determined by increased body weight and fat mass after exposure to high-fat diet.

Hypoxia-related glucose metabolism was studied by Park and colleagues (4) by exposing mice to normoxic or hypoxic conditions. Their results showed that mouse body weight and fat mass were significantly lower in the hypoxic group than in the normoxic group as demonstrated by DXA measurements.

Furhermore, the effects of hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin neurons on obesity have been studied with iNSiGHT (5, 6), demonstrating yet another example where DXA analysis can be utilized.

Bone diseases – osteoporosis and bone loss

Efficacy of Sanhuang Jiangtang tablets to treat type 2 diabetes -related osteoporosis was studied in leptin-receptor deficient (db/db) mice by He and colleagues (7), who observed that db/db-mice had lower BMD and bone mineral content (BMC) than wild-type mice. Furthermore, db/db mice treated with Sanhuang Jiangtang tablets had increased BMD compared to non-treated mice. This was further confirmed by µCT imaging showing inhibition of bone loss after Sanhuang Jiangtang tablet treatment in db/db mice.

Kim and colleagues (8) studied effects of metabolic alterations on bone remodeling. They compared three different mouse strains (BALB/c, C57BL6, and C3H mice) and observed that C3H mice had the highest fat and lean mass. Treating C3H mice with normal BMD with the bisphosphonate risedronate caused enlargement of femoral cortical bones with low BMD and increased fragility. This phenomenon was only observed in mice with normal BMD, not in mice with estrogen deficiency -caused osteoporosis.


After being only a few years in market, iNSiGHT DXA has been already widely used in research and has provided proof for precision and accuracy of the device and its usefulness in studying bone and metabolic diseases.

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  1. Yeu J, Ko HJ, Kim D, Ahn Y, Kim J, Lee W, Jung I, Suh J, Lee SJ. Evaluation of iNSiGHT VET DXA (Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry) for assessing body composition in obese rats fed with high fat diet: a follow-up study of diet induced obesity model for 8 weeks. Lab Anim Res. 2019 Jun 24;35:2. doi: 10.1186/s42826-019-0004-2. PMID: 31463221; PMCID: PMC6707430.
  2. Baek KW, Kim JS, Park JS, Kim SJ, Ha YC, Jeong OY, Yoo JI. Validation of Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance in the Analysis of Body Composition in Mice. J Bone Metab. 2020 Nov;27(4):291-299. doi: 10.11005/jbm.2020.27.4.291. Epub 2020 Nov 30. PMID: 33317232; PMCID: PMC7746482.
  3. Ko MS, Yun JY, Baek IJ, Jang JE, Hwang JJ, Lee SE, Heo SH, Bader DA, Lee CH, Han J, Moon JS, Lee JM, Hong EG, Lee IK, Kim SW, Park JY, Hartig SM, Kang UJ, Moore DD, Koh EH, Lee KU. Mitophagy deficiency increases NLRP3 to induce brown fat dysfunction in mice. Autophagy. 2021 May;17(5):1205-1221. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2020.1753002. Epub 2020 May 13. PMID: 32400277; PMCID: PMC8143238.
  4. Park Y, Hwang D, Park H-Y, Kim J, Lim K. Hypoxic Exposure Increases Energy Expenditure by Increasing Carbohydrate Oxidation in Mice. BioMed Research International. 2020 Article ID 6159407, 8 pages.
  5. Lee CH, Song DK, Park CB, Choi J, Kang GM, Shin SH, Kwon I, Park S, Kim S, Kim JY, Dugu H, Park JW, Choi JH, Min SH, Sohn JW, Kim MS. Primary cilia mediate early life programming of adiposity through lysosomal regulation in the developing mouse hypothalamus. Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 13;11(1):5772. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19638-4. PMID: 33188191; PMCID: PMC7666216.
  6. Kang GM, Min SH, Lee CH, Kim JY, Lim HS, Choi MJ, Jung SB, Park JW, Kim S, Park CB, Dugu H, Choi JH, Jang WH, Park SE, Cho YM, Kim JG, Kim KG, Choi CS, Kim YB, Lee C, Shong M, Kim MS. Mitohormesis in Hypothalamic POMC Neurons Mediates Regular Exercise-Induced High-Turnover Metabolism. Cell Metab. 2021 Feb 2;33(2):334-349.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2021.01.003. PMID: 33535098; PMCID: PMC7959183.
  7. He Q, Yang J, Zhang G, Chen D, Zhang M, Pan Z, Wang Z, Su L, Zeng J, Wang B, Wang H, Chen P. Sanhuang Jiangtang tablet protects type 2 diabetes osteoporosis via AKT-GSK3β-NFATc1 signaling pathway by integrating bioinformatics analysis and experimental validation. J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Jun 12;273:113946. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2021.113946. Epub 2021 Feb 26. PMID: 33647426.
  8. Kim MY, Lee K, Shin HI, Lee KJ, Jeong D. Metabolic activities affect femur and lumbar vertebrae remodeling, and anti-resorptive risedronate disturbs femoral cortical bone remodeling. Exp Mol Med. 2021 Jan;53(1):103-114. doi: 10.1038/s12276-020-00548-w. Epub 2021 Jan 12. PMID: 33436949; PMCID: PMC8080628.



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