Cross-sectional allometric growth patterns of the cranial and postcranial skeleton were compared between giant transgenic (MT-rGH) mice and their normal littermate controls. Body weights, external body dimensions, and a series of cranial and postcranial linear dimensions of the skeleton were determined for samples of known age. Comparative bivariate and multivariate allometric analyses were completed in order to determine whether (1) the larger transgenic mice differed significantly from the normal controls in aspects of body and skeletal proportions, and (2) any such proportion differences resulted from general allometric effects of overall weight or skeletal size increase. Results demonstrate that the transgenic mice do exhibit significantly different body and skeletal proportions than normal control adults. Allometric comparisons of the skeletal dimensions relative to body weight reveal similar coefficients of growth allometry but several differences in y-intercept values in the transgenic vs. control groups. The comparisons among the skeletal dimensions of the skull and postcranium generally reveal the sharing and differential extension of common growth allometries in the two groups. Thus, the elevated levels of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) in the transgenic mice appear to result in increased overall growth for the various skeletal elements, but in the relative proportions determined by intrinsic growth controls within that system.
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