Aluminum effects on blood chemistry and long bone development in the chick embryo

Conrad E. Firling, Arlen R Severson, Theresa A. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Body growth, blood chemistry, and long bone development of 10- to 16-day chick embryos (Gallus gallus) treated with aluminum (Al) citrate, sodium (Na) citrate, or sodium chloride (NaCl) were investigated. Two administration protocols were used. Acutely-treated embryos received 6.0 μmol Al citrate or Na citrate on day 8 of incubation. Chronically-treated embryos received a daily dose of 1.5 μmol Al citrate or Na citrate beginning on day 8 of incubation. For both protocols, Al citrate and Na citrate had no significant influence on viability or body weight. Al citrate-treated embryos had: (a) significantly shorter mean tibia lengths by day 16 of incubation, (b) a consistently lower ratio of tibia length: body weight on all days investigated, and (c) a persistent mid-diaphyseal malformation (angulation) of the femur and tibia. Spatially correlated with the malformation was a calcification defect detected by alizarin red S staining of intact tibias and the accumulation of aluminum as demonstrated by acid solochrome azurine staining of histological sections. Aluminum was localized at the mineralization front of the osteogenic collar surrounding the cartilage core of the tibia. Aluminum citrate or Na citrate had no significant effect on serum total calcium, inorganic phosphorus, total alkaline phosphatase activity, or creatinine, except for a transitory hypercalcemia (day 10) and phosphatemia (days 10 and 12) in Al citrate-treated embryos. The concomitant localization of Al and the early calcification defect in the region of tibial malformation implicate aluminum in the pathogenesis of the skeletal abnormality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Toxicology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1994


  • Aluminum toxicity
  • Bone development
  • Bone mineralization
  • Chick embryo
  • Citrate


Dive into the research topics of 'Aluminum effects on blood chemistry and long bone development in the chick embryo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this