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Does Cu supplementation affect the mechanical and structural properties and mineral content of red deer antler bone tissue?

AuthorsGambin, Pablo; Serrano, Martina P.; Gallego, Laureano ; García, Andrés J. ; Cappelli, Jamil; Ceacero, Francisco ; Landete-Castillejos, Tomás
KeywordsMineral composition
Antler bone tissue
Mechanical properties
Cervus elaphus
Issue Date2017
PublisherCambridge University Press
CitationAnimal 11(8): 1312-1320 (2017)
AbstractThe main factors affecting the mechanical (and other) properties of bone, including antler, are the proportions of ash (especially Ca and P) and collagen content. However, some trace minerals may also play more important roles than would be expected, given their low levels in bone and antler. One such trace mineral is Cu. Here, we studied the effects of Cu supplementation on the mechanical and structural characteristics, and mineral content of antlers from yearling and adult (4 years of age) red deer fed a balanced diet. Deer (n=35) of different ages (21 yearlings and 14 adults) were studied. A total of 18 stags (11 yearlings and 7 adults) were injected with Cu (0.83 mg Cu/kg BW) every 42 days, whereas the remaining 17 (10 yearlings and 7 adults) were injected with physiological saline solution (control group). The Cu content of serum was analysed at the beginning of the trial and 84 days after the first injection to assess whether the injected Cu was mobilized in blood. Also, the mechanical and structural properties of antlers and the mineral content in their cortical walls were examined at three (yearlings) or four (adults) points along the antler beam. The effect of Cu supplementation was different in yearlings and adults. In yearlings, supplementation increased the Cu content of serum by 28%, but did not affect antler properties. However, in adults, Cu supplementation increased the Cu content of serum by 38% and tended to increase the cortical thickness of antlers (P=0.06). Therefore, we conclude that, even in animals receiving balanced diets, supplementation with Cu could increase antler cortical thickness in adult deer, although not in yearlings. This may improve the trophy value of antlers, as well as having potential implications for bones in elderly humans, should Cu supplementation have similar effects on bones as those observed in antlers.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731116002767
Identifiersdoi: 10.1017/S1751731116002767
e-issn: 1751-732X
issn: 1751-7311
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Artículos
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