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Silicon deprivation decreases collagen formation in wounds and bone, and ornithine transaminase enzyme activity in liver

Abstract

We have shown that silicon (Si) deprivation decreases the collagen concentration in bone of 9-wk-old rats. Finding that Si deprivation also affects collagen at different stages in bone development, collagen-forming enzymes, or collagen deposition in other tissues would have implications that Si is important for both wound healing and bone formation. Therefore, 42 rats in experiment 1 and 24 rats in experiment 2 were fed a basal diet containing 2 or 2.6 µg Si/g, respectively, based on ground corn and casein, and supplemented with either 0 or 10 µg Si/g as sodium metasilicate. At 3 wk, the femur was removed from 18 of the 42 rats in experiment 1 for hydroxyproline analysis. A polyvinyl sponge was implanted beneath the skin of the upper back of each of the 24 remaining rats. Sixteen hours before termination and 2 wk after the sponge had been implanted, each rat was given an oral dose of14C-proline (1.8 µCi/100 g body wt). The total amount of hydroxyproline was significantly lower in the tibia and sponges taken from Si-deficient animals than Si-supplemented rats. The disintegrations per minute of14C-proline were significantly higher in sponge extracts from Si-deficient rats than Si-supplemented rats. Additional evidence of aberrations in proline metabolism with Si deprivation was that liver ornithine aminotransferase was significantly decreased in Si-deprived animals in experiment 2. Findings of an increased accumulation of14C-proline and decreased total hydroxyproline in implanted sponges and decreased activity of a key enzyme in proline synthesis (liver ornithine aminotransferase) in Si-deprived animals indicates an aberration in the formation of collagen from proline in sites other than bone that is corrected by Si. This suggests that Si is a nutrient of concern in wound healing as well as bone formation.

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Correspondence to F. H. Nielsen.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Northern Plains Area is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, and all agency services are available without discrimination.

Mention of a trademark or proprietary product does not constitute a guarantee or warranty of the product by the US Department of Agriculture and does not imply its approval to the exclusion of other products that may be suitable.

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Seaborn, C.D., Nielsen, F.H. Silicon deprivation decreases collagen formation in wounds and bone, and ornithine transaminase enzyme activity in liver. Biol Trace Elem Res 89, 251–261 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1385/BTER:89:3:251

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Index Entries

  • Silicon
  • collagen
  • wound healing
  • bone
  • ornithine transaminase