Fluoride and Bone Growth

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Conference Proceeding

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The effects of orally ingested fluoride (120 ppm in distilled water) on femoral bone structure and mineralization in the rat were investigated. Results were compared to untreated controls. All animals were weighed each week of the 4 week experimental period and blood samples were taken prior to sacrifice. Rate of growth and well being of all animals did not significantly differ. Serum calcium, phosphorus and magnesium levels were normal, however, serum alkaline phosphatase levels were slightly increased. No gross structural bone changes were observed although increased intracortical resorption occurred in the femoral diaphyses as evidenced by increased numbers of resorption cavities. Periosteal alkaline and acid phosphatase activities increased mainly because the cells containing these enzymes increased. Periosteal osteoid production increased while the rate of mineralization decreased. Femoral weights were similar but since surface bone formation prevailed over intracortical resorption, the total bone mass increased. An increase in the distal epiphyseal plate thickness occurred due to the failure of cartilage resorption. However, the resorption of bony metaphyseal trabeculae was either increased or not affected. The results of this study indicate that short term treatment of high fluoride induced increased formation as well as increased resorption of bone without significantly changing the serum ion concentration. Bone formation prevailed over bone resorption and the additional bone formed differed from normal bone by its low rate of mineralization and irregular structure.


Presented at the 88th Annual Meeting of the Ohio Academy of Science, Heidelberg College, Tiffin, OH.

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