The optimal content of macro-, micro-, and trace elements in tissues ensures proper systemic growth and development and optimal health status in animals and humans. However, very little is known on the elemental content in the plasma compartment in Silver fox. The aim of this study was to determine the content of selected elements in serum obtained from 8-month-old female (N = 8) and male (N = 7) silver foxes. Moreover, relationships of the evaluated elements with the morphological, densitometric, and mechanical parameters of the mandible were determined. Serum content of 12 different elements was measured using inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry. The morphometric and densitometric properties of the mandible were determined using quantitative computed tomography method, while mechanical endurance was tested using a three-point bending test. Serum concentration of calcium was significantly higher by 20% in male foxes (P = 0.01), while manganese concentration was significantly lower in males by over 17% (P = 0.03). Positive correlations of serum concentration of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium with the morphological traits of the mandible such as weight, length, and bone volume were stated (P < 0.05). In the group of elements playing regulatory functions, the positive relationships between serum concentrations of selenium, chromium, manganese, copper, and cobalt were found (P < 0.05). The elaborated experimental model may serve for further studies on foxes, especially focused on nutritional factors affecting elemental homeostasis, whole-body metabolism, and systemic growth and development. Daily diet formulation and precise delivery for farm foxes, together with relatively large animal population maintained at the same environmental conditions, regularly subjected to slaughter procedure, enable economical experimentation with various dietary and pharmacological manipulations.
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Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national and institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. The study protocol was approved by the Local Ethics Committee on Animal Experimentation of the University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland—permission number 20/2015.
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