Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 60–67 | Cite as

Effects of Fluoride on Bone in an Animal Model of Vitamin D Deficiency

  • Joseph Dian BonduEmail author
  • M. S. Seshadri
  • R. Selvakumar
  • Jude Joseph Fleming
Original Research Article


We investigated the combined effect of fluoride exposure and Vitamin D deficiency in causing bone damage as a precursor to development of Fluorotoxic Metabolic Bone Disease. Thirty-six male Sprague–Dawley rats were divided into 6 groups of six; 3 groups received a Vitamin D deficient diet whereas the other 3 received a Vitamin D adequate diet. Serum total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), calcium, phosphorus, creatinine, Alkaline phosphatase (ALP), albumin, Parathyroid hormone (PTH), Osteocalcin and C terminal telopeptide (CTx) were measured following exposure to varying levels of fluoride in drinking water (< 1.0, 15 and 50 ppm). Full body Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) scans were used to examine changes in bone morphology pre and post exposure to fluoride. Renal tubular function was assessed using serum creatinine and urine Cystatin C. Histopathological examination of sections of bone and kidney tissues were also performed. Prior to fluoride exposure, DXA scans revealed a significant decrease in Bone Mineral Density (BMD) and Bone Mineral content (BMC) (p < 0.05) but a significant increase in fat mass (p < 0.05) and fat percentage (p < 0.01) among Vitamin D deficient rats, with no significant change in biochemical parameters. Following exposure to fluoride, BMD was significantly increased (p < 0.05) in both groups with a corresponding increase in serum ALP, bone fluoride content, Osteocalcin, CTx and urine fluoride with increasing levels of fluoride exposure. Serum creatinine calcium and phosphate and urinary cystatin C levels showed no significant changes. Light microscopy examination revealed mild thickening and increased osteoid in 80% of the Vitamin D deficient rats exposed to high levels of fluoride but renal tubular changes were found only in one experimental and one control animal. Fluoride deposited in rat bone affects both osteoblastic and osteoclastic activity. Also, these effects are accentuated in the presence of Vitamin D deficiency.


Vitamin D deficiency Fluoride Drinking water fluoride levels Fluorosis Fluorotoxic metabolic bone disease Bone mineral density 



We gratefully acknowledge the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Department of General Pathology and the Institutional Research Board for their financial support. Special thanks to Mr Matthew Boyton for help in preparation of figures.

Supplementary material

12291_2017_709_MOESM1_ESM.docx (90 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 89 kb)


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Copyright information

© Association of Clinical Biochemists of India 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Dian Bondu
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. S. Seshadri
    • 2
  • R. Selvakumar
    • 1
  • Jude Joseph Fleming
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical BiochemistryChristian Medical CollegeVelloreIndia
  2. 2.Department of EndocrinologyChristian Medical CollegeVelloreIndia

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