Chronic exposure to low concentrations of strontium 90 affects bone physiology but not the hematopoietic system in mice



The aim of this work was to delineate the effects of chronic ingestion of strontium 90 (90Sr) at low concentrations on the hematopoiesis and the bone physiology. A mouse model was used for that purpose. Parent animals ingested water containing 20 kBq l−1 of 90Sr two weeks before mating. Offspring were then continuously contaminated with 90Sr through placental transfer during fetal life, through lactation after birth and through drinking water after weaning. At various ages between birth and 20 weeks, animals were tested for hematopoietic parameters such as blood cell counts, colony forming cells in spleen and bone marrow and cytokine concentrations in the plasma. However, we did not find any modification in 90Sr ingesting animals as compared with control animals. By contrast, the analysis of bone physiology showed a modification of gene expression towards bone resorption. This was confirmed by an increase in C-telopeptide of collagen in the plasma of 90Sr ingesting animals as compared with control animals. This modification in bone metabolism was not linked to a modification of the phosphocalcic homeostasis, as measured by calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D and parathyroid hormone in the blood. Overall these results suggest that the chronic ingestion of 90Sr at low concentration in the long term may induce modifications in bone metabolism but not in hematopoiesis. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.