Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Changes in bone turnover and calcium homeostasis during pregnancy and lactation in mammals: a meta-analysis

Diego A. Torres A B , Mariella B. Freitas A and Reggiani V. Gonçalves A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Animal Biology Department, Federal University of Viçosa, Av. P.H. Rolfs, 36570-000, Viçosa, MG, Brazil.

B Corresponding author. Email: dtorresarboleda@gmail.com

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - https://doi.org/10.1071/RD17163
Submitted: 26 April 2017  Accepted: 5 October 2017   Published online: 15 November 2017

Abstract

Large amounts of calcium are required during pregnancy and lactation to support fetal and neonatal bone growth and calcification. An inadequate supply of calcium during these stages can lead to unsuccessful reproduction or impaired offspring fitness. During reproduction, female mammals undergo numerous physiological changes, including adaptations to allow an adequate supply of calcium. The lack of quantitative studies analysing these physiological changes from a comparative perspective limits our ability to explain and understand these adaptations. Herein, we present our meta-analysis of studies reporting changes in bone turnover and calcium homeostasis during pregnancy and lactation in 14 species of mammals. Our meta-analysis of 60 studies showed that all species have a similar pattern of physiological changes during pregnancy and lactation, which include: (1) decreased serum calcium concentrations; (2) bone tissue loss; (3) decreased serum calcitonin and parathyroid hormone concentrations; and (4) increased serum calcitriol concentration, regardless of changes in parathyroid hormone concentrations. In addition, we found a negative relationship between: (1) serum calcium concentrations and the number of teats; and (2) serum parathyroid hormone concentrations and litter mass.

Additional keywords: bone loss, bone physiology, calcium metabolism, calcium physiology, reproduction.


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