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

Fluoride content and mineralization of red deer (Cervus elaphus) antlers and pedicles from fluoride polluted and uncontaminated regions.

Fluoride, calcium, and phosphorus content as well as ashpercentage and ash density of primary antlers and pedicle bones were studiedin nine yearling red deer stags from a fluoride polluted region in NorthBohemia (Czech Republic) and in nine control animals from two uncontaminatedareas in West Germany. Fluoride levels in antlers (845 +/- 257 mgF-/kg ash, mean +/- SD) and pedicles (1,448 +/- 461 mgF-/kg ash) of the N-Bohemian specimens exceeded that of thecontrols (antlers: 206 +/- 124 mg F-/kg ash, pedicles:322 +/- 157 mg F-/kg ash) by factors of 4.1 and 4.5,respectively. Antler and pedicle fluoride concentrations of the deer(n = 18) were closely correlated (r = 0.975,p < 0.001). Analyses of ash percentage and ash density revealed that theantlers of the N-Bohemian deer contained significantly less mineral and weresignificantly less dense than both their pedicles and the control antlers. Inthe pooled antler samples (n = 18), bone fluoride concentration wasnegatively correlated with ash density (r = -0.826, p < 0.001)and ash percentage (r = -0.759, p < 0.001), whereas nonsignificant, positive correlations existed for the pooled pedicle samples.Ash percentage and ash density of the antlers and their correspondingpedicles were uncorrelated. It is concluded that increased fluoride exposureof deer leads to reduced mineral content and mineral density of antler boneand that it is the rapidity of their growth and mineralization that makesantlers especially susceptible to fluoride action. Due to their ability toaccumulate high amounts of fluoride during a defined, limited timespan andthe apparently dose-dependent negative effect of fluoride on their densityand mineral content, (primary) antlers can be recommended as monitoring toolsfor studying environmental pollution by fluorides.[1]


  1. Fluoride content and mineralization of red deer (Cervus elaphus) antlers and pedicles from fluoride polluted and uncontaminated regions. Kierdorf, U., Richards, A., Sedlacek, F., Kierdorf, H. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. (1997) [Pubmed]
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