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Assessing human weaning practices with calcium isotopes in tooth enamel

Published on Jun 13, 2017in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America9.58
· DOI :10.1073/pnas.1704412114
Théo Tacail6
Estimated H-index: 6
(CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique),
Béatrice Thivichon-Prince2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UCBL: Claude Bernard University Lyon 1)
+ 3 AuthorsVincent Balter21
Estimated H-index: 21
(CNRS: Centre national de la recherche scientifique)
Sources
Abstract
Abstract Weaning practices differ among great apes and likely diverged during the course of human evolution, but behavioral inference from the fossil record is hampered by a lack of unambiguous biomarkers. Here, we show that early-life dietary transitions are recorded in human deciduous tooth enamel as marked variations in Ca isotope ratios (δ44/42Ca). Using a sequential microsampling method along the enamel growth axis, we collected more than 150 enamel microsamples from 51 deciduous teeth of 12 different modern human individuals of known dietary histories, as well as nine enamel samples from permanent third molars. We measured and reconstructed the evolution of 44Ca/42Ca ratios in enamel from in utero development to first months of postnatal development. We show that the observed variations of δ44/42Ca record a transition from placental nutrition to an adult-like diet and that Ca isotopes reflect the duration of the breastfeeding period experienced by each infant. Typically, the δ44/42Ca values of individuals briefly or not breastfed show a systematic increase during the first 5–10 mo, whereas individuals with long breastfeeding histories display no measurable variation in δ44/42Ca of enamel formed during this time. The use of Ca isotope analysis in tooth enamel allows microsampling and offers an independent approach to tackle challenging questions related to past population dynamics and evolution of weaning practices in hominins.
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References67
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#1Klervia Jaouen (MPG: Max Planck Society)H-Index: 12
#2Estelle Herrscher (AMU: Aix-Marseille University)H-Index: 11
Last. Vincent Balter (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 21
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Objectives Here, we report Cu and Zn isotope ratios of bones and teeth of French people from various historical periods with the aim to understand how Cu and Zn isotope ratios of bone, a tissue that is continuously remodeled throughout life but that is prone to post-mortem diagenesis, compare with that of tooth enamel, a tissue that forms once during childhood but that is more resistant to diagenesis. Specifically, we examine (1) the potential existence of sex-related differences in the Cu isoto...
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#1Klervia JaouenH-Index: 12
#2Estelle HerrscherH-Index: 11
Last. Vincent BalterH-Index: 21
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Objectives: Here, we report Cu and Zn isotope ratios of bones and teeth of French people from various historical periods with the aim to understand how Cu and Zn isotope ratios of bone, a tissue that is continuously remodeled throughout life but that is prone to post-mortem diagenesis, compare with that of tooth enamel, a tissue that forms once during childhood but that is more resistant to diagenesis. Specifically, we examine (1) the potential existence of sex-related differences in the Cu isot...
1 Citations
Abstract During pregnancy, mineral concentrations, of calcium and phosphorus in particular, are maintained at a high level in fetal blood so that the developing skeleton may accrete adequate mineral content. The placenta actively transports minerals for this purpose. Maternal intestinal absorption increases in order to meet the fetal demand for calcium, which is only partly dependent on calcitriol. Mineral regulation is essentially dependent on parathyroid hormone (PTH) and PTH-related protein (...
14 CitationsSource
In order to investigate fractionation of calcium (Ca) isotopes in vertebrates as a diagnostic tool to detect Ca metabolism dysfunction we analyzed the Ca isotopic composition (δ44/40Ca = [(44Ca/40Ca)sample/(44Ca/40Ca)reference]−1) of diet, faeces, blood, bones and urine from Gottingen minipigs, an animal model for human physiology. Samples of three groups were investigated: 1. control group (Con), 2. group with glucocorticosteroid induced osteoporosis (GIO) and 3. group with Ca and vitamin D def...
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Abstract We report methodological innovations and an initial application to retrieve Ca isotopic (δ 44/40 Ca) compositions of (bio)apatite at high spatial resolution. We utilize laser-microsampling via laser-cut polygons followed by extraction of μg-sized bioapatite fragments; and apply a 10 10 Ω resistor for 40 Ca and parafilm-dam loading to minimize in-run Ca isotope fractionation for TIMS analysis. We obtain identical internally-normalized TIMS Ca isotopic ratios for natural calcite, apatite ...
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#1Anne-Désirée Schmitt (UDS: University of Strasbourg)H-Index: 10
Studying Ca biogeochemical cycle in the critical zone using Ca isotopes has revealed Ca isotope fractionation mechanisms associated to biological processes (Ca uptake by roots and within-tree translocation, Ca recycling by vegetation) or abiotic processes (secondary mineral precipitation). Ca isotopes have thus shown their potential to trace Ca cycling processes within the tree, Ca uptake mechanisms within the rhizosphere, Ca recycling by the vegetation; Ca isotopes can also be used as a time in...
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#1Alexander Heuser (University of Bonn)H-Index: 16
This chapter summarizes the current knowledge on the Ca isotope composition of different tissues and Ca isotope cycling in the human and vertebrate body. The known sites of Ca isotope fractionation and the calcium isotopic composition of different compartments and body fluids are discussed. The first part of this chapter follows the journey of Ca in the body from the input (diet) to the output (urine, feces). Finally, current biomedical applications of Ca isotopes for the detection of bone loss ...
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#1Théo Tacail (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 6
#2Philippe Telouk (École normale supérieure de Lyon)H-Index: 31
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Laser ablation (LA) is potentially an interesting technique to measure natural variations (δ44/42Ca) of calcium isotopes in calcium-rich minerals because it allows spatial resolution and avoids micro-sampling and consecutive wet chemistry. We developed a matrix-match sample/standard normalization method and used an Excite 193 nm Photon Machines LA system coupled to a Neptune plus MC-ICPMS to measure δ44/42Ca variations in enamel apatite. First, high precision δ44/42Ca solution mode (SOL) analyse...
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Biominerals are important archives for various paleo-environmental proxies, and consequently, the understanding of biomineralisation related element and isotope fractionation is vital for reliable climate reconstructions. The Ca isotope composition of biominerals has been investigated to explore its potential for paleo-environmental reconstructions and to better understand biomineralisation processes. The overall range of Ca isotope fractionation reported for biominerals resembles that of inorga...
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Recent calcium isotope studies recovered a trophic level effect in marine ecosystems. However, elasmobranchs are virtually absent from such studies despite their important ecological role, their diversity and their extensive fossil record. Enameloid of extant elasmobranchs representing differing known ecologies were measured for δ44/42Ca. The results reveal that their calcium isotope values have a distribution (from − 0.27 to − 0.78‰) that follows a stepwise decrease (∆44/42Ca) of about − 0.14‰ ...
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Cited By7
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Abstract Beyond their established uses in Earth and Planetary sciences, calcium (Ca) isotopes have a promising future in the study of the biology of present and past vertebrates, including humans. Early work paved the way to the ongoing research on the potential of Ca isotopes as relevant tools to disciplines other than geology, including palaeobiology, bioarchaeology and biomedical research. In this article, we first review the rationale behind the cycling of Ca isotopes in vertebrate organisms...
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#1Théo Tacail (UoB: University of Bristol)
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Nursing is pivotal in the social and biological evolution of hominins, but to date, early-life behavior among hominin lineages is a matter of debate. The calcium isotopic compositions (δ44/42Ca) of tooth enamel can provide dietary information on this period. Here, we measure the δ44/42Ca values in spatially located microsized regions in tooth enamel of 37 South African hominins to reconstruct early-life dietary-specific variability in Australopithecus africanus, Paranthropus robustus, and early ...
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Stable isotope analysis has often been used in neonatal remains from archeological contexts to investigate the presence of a signal of breastfeeding and weaning in past populations. Tooth histology on the other hand might be used as an indicator of birth survival. This pilot study aimed to investigate the feasibility of using stable nitrogen (δ 15 N) and carbon (δ 13 C) isotope values from neonatal bone collagen to elucidate if values deviating from the adult female average could indicate breast...
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