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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Induction of de novo bone formation in the beagle. A novel effect of aluminum.

To define the primary effects of aluminum on bone in the mammalian species, we examined the dose/time-dependent actions of aluminum in normal beagles. Administration of low dose aluminum (0.75 mg/kg) significantly elevated the serum aluminum (151.7 +/- 19.9 micrograms/liter) compared with that in controls (4.2 +/- 1.35 micrograms/liter) but did not alter the calcium, creatinine, or parathyroid hormone. After 8 wk of therapy, bone biopsies displayed reduced bone resorption (2.6 +/- 0.63 vs. 4.5 +/- 0.39%) and osteoblast covered bone surfaces (2.02 +/- 0.51 vs. 7.64 +/- 1.86%), which was indicative of low turnover. In contrast, prolonged treatment resulted in increased bone volume and trabecular number (38.9 +/- 1.35 vs. 25.2 +/- 2.56% and 3.56 +/- 0.23 vs. 2.88 +/- 0.11/mm) which was consistent with uncoupled bone formation. Administration of higher doses of aluminum (1.20 mg/kg) increased the serum aluminum further (1242.3 +/- 259.8 micrograms/liter) but did not affect calcium, creatinine, or parathyroid hormone. However, after 8 wk of treatment, bone biopsies displayed changes similar to those after long-term, low-dose therapy. In this regard, an increased trabecular number (3.41 +/- 0.18/mm) and bone volume (36.5 +/- 2.38%) again provided evidence of uncoupled bone formation. In contrast, in this instance poorly mineralized woven bone contributed to the enhanced bone volume. High-dose treatment for 16 wk further enhanced bone volume (50.4 +/- 4.61%) and trabecular number (3.90 +/- 0.5/mm). These observations illustrate that aluminum may stimulate uncoupled bone formation and induce a positive bone balance. This enhancement of bone histogenesis contrasts with the effects of pharmacologic agents that alter the function of existing bone remodeling units.[1]


  1. Induction of de novo bone formation in the beagle. A novel effect of aluminum. Quarles, L.D., Gitelman, H.J., Drezner, M.K. J. Clin. Invest. (1988) [Pubmed]
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