[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that severe iron deficiency negatively affects bone microarchitecture. Here we determined whether marginal iron restriction that reflects some human consumption patterns could have similar consequences. Thirty-two weanling female rats were randomly divided into four groups and fed the following diets for 10 weeks: (i) iron-adequate, calcium-adequate (FeA:CaA), (ii) calcium-restricted (FeA:CaR), (iii) iron-restricted (FeR:CaA), and (iv) both calcium- and iron-restricted (FeR:CaR) diets. DEXA analysis revealed that CaR decreased bone mineral density (BMD), and FeR decreased whole-body bone mineral content (BMC). Iron-restricted and calcium-restricted groups had lower BMD than did their adequate counterparts. All treatment-restricted groups had lower BMD in the fourth lumbar (L-4) vertebrae than the FeA:CaA group. Vertebrae BMD was lower in all treatment groups compared to the control group, and for BMC, the CaR groups were lower than the CaA groups and the FeR groups were lower that the FeA groups, and BMC were lower in iron- and calcium-restricted groups. The microarchitecture of the L-4 vertebrae was compromised in FeA:CaR, FeR:CaA, and FeR:CaR: (i) the connectivity density was reduced by FeR and by CaR; and (ii) trabecular number was decreased and trabecular separation was increased by FeR. Cortical thickness of the femur was reduced by both FeR and CaR. Finite element analysis revealed that L-4 vertebrae from the FeR:CaA group had greater internal stress with an applied force than the FeA:CaA group and, thus, would be more likely to break. Chelation of iron in cultured osteoblast cells impaired mineralization but had no impact upon Type I collagen deposition. Iron depletion, similar to that occurring among some human populations, reduced bone strength and microarchitecture based on the in vivo and in vitro results reported here. Impaired mineralization with iron depletion appears to be a possible mechanism for the observed bone abnormalities.
Preview · Article · May 2006 · Experimental Biology and Medicine