Although several treatments for osteoporosis exist, further understanding of the mode of action of current treatments, as well as development of novel treatments, are of interest. Thus, preclinical models of osteoporosis are very useful, as they provide the possibility for gaining knowledge about the cellular mechanisms underlying the disease and for studying pharmaceutical prevention or intervention of the disease in simple and strictly controlled systems. In this review, we present a comprehensive collection of studies using biochemical markers of bone turnover for investigation of preclinical models of osteoporosis. These range from pure and simple in vitro systems, such as osteoclast cultures, to ex vivo models, such as cultures of embryonic murine tibiae and, finally, to in vivo models, such as ovariectomy and orchidectomy of rats. We discuss the relevance of the markers in the individual models, and compare their responses to those observed using 'golden standard' methods.

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