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Bone. 1994 Jul-Aug;15(4):425-30.

Strontium alters the complexed acidic phospholipid content of mineralizing tissues.

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  • 1Hospital for Special Surgery, Cornell University Medical College, New York, NY 10021.


High dietary strontium induces rickets in both calcium-replete and calcium-deficient animals. To test the hypothesis that strontium directly perturbs complexed acidic phospholipid (CPLX) metabolism and thus, mineralization, the effect of strontium treatment on CPLX formation was studied in solution, in culture, and in growing rats. Synthetic CPLX containing calcium or strontium were found to be similar in composition. Strontium, however, appeared to incorporate into CPLX less avidly than calcium. Mineralizing chick limb bud mesenchymal cell cultures treated with strontium demonstrated a significantly increased CPLX content and decreased 45Ca uptake compared to calcium-treated cultures. Long bones from young growing rats fed a diet supplemented with strontium demonstrated defective mineralization based on radiologic and histologic analyses. Metaphyseal bone of strontium-fed rats contained significantly greater amounts of CPLX and had significantly lower ash weights compared with control bone. Thus, treatment of mineralizing tissues with strontium both in vitro and in vivo resulted in defective mineralization and an accumulation of CPLX. Strontium appears to perturb mineralization, in part, by a direct effect on the cells of mineralizing tissues.

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