Developmental patterns of aluminum and five essential mineral elements in the central nervous system of the fetal and infant guinea pig

Mari S. Golub, Bin Han, Carl L Keen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Al is found in the developing conceptus, but little information is available concerning its tissue distribution and its changes in concentration with age. Because Al has affinity for many of the same biological ligands as the essential mineral cations Ca, Mg, Zn, Fe, and Mn, we hypothesized that Al might show a pattern of developmental concentrations that was similar to one or more of these elements in the brain, a major target of Al toxicity. Concentrations of Al, Ca, Mg, Zn, Fe, and Mn were measured in spinal cord, brainstem, cerebellum, and forebrain of guinea pig fetuses on gestation day (GD) 30 and 45, at birth, and on postnatal day (PND) 3, 6, and 12. Dams were fed commercial guinea pig chow, which contained 47 μg Al/g. Tissue Al and Mn were measured with electrothermal atomic absorption spectrophotometry (ETAAS), and the other elements with inductively coupled axial plasma spectroscopy (ICAP-AES). Al concentrations in the brain regions were highest in spinal cord, brainstem, and cerebellum, and decreased during late gestation and lactation. Al did not show marked increases in regional brain concentrations during the final third of gestation as did Fe, Mg, and Zn. In contrast to Fe and Ca, Al did not accumulate in placenta. Al was the only element to show higher concentrations in spinal cord than in any other tissue at birth. In summary, the tissue distribution of Al did not follow that of essential cations as examined in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-251
Number of pages11
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1996


  • Aluminum
  • calcium
  • CNS
  • guinea pig
  • infancy
  • iron
  • magnesium
  • manganese
  • pregnancy
  • zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Endocrinology


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