Research Communication

Biliary and plasma copper and zinc in pregnant Simmental and Angus cattle

S. Ravi Gooneratne, Bernard Laarveld, Kumar K. Pathirana, David A. Christensen
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 80, No 1 | a577 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v80i1.577 | © 2013 S. Ravi Gooneratne, Bernard Laarveld, Kumar K. Pathirana, David A. Christensen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 15 February 2013 | Published: 26 August 2013

About the author(s)

S. Ravi Gooneratne, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University, New Zealand and Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Bernard Laarveld, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Kumar K. Pathirana, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University, New Zealand
David A. Christensen, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, Canada


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Abstract

Three each of 3-year-old Angus and Simmental heifers, surgically modified to collect bile, were used to measure the effects of pregnancy and breed on bile flow, biliary copper and zinc excretion and plasma copper and zinc concentrations. Bile copper excretion was significantly higher at 7-mo of pregnancy when samples from both breeds were pooled. From then onwards it declined to its lowest, one week post-partum. During pregnancy, plasma copper concentration increased slightly, reaching its highest level at 7-mo of pregnancy and then decreased slightly until full term. In pooled samples from both breeds, the correlation between increase in bile copper excretion and plasma copper concentration from 0 to 7-mo of pregnancy was high (r = 0.85) and significant (p < 0.05). Plasma zinc concentration decreased to the lowest level around 6-mo of pregnancy but increased thereafter until full term. In cows that were dried off one week after parturition, major shifts in bile and plasma copper and zinc parameters occurred at one week following and these coincided with a marked decline of bile flow and bile copper and zinc excretion. By 3-mo post-partum, biliary copper and zinc excretion and plasma copper and zinc concentrations had reached levels observed prior to pregnancy. When the data from all samples were pooled, the bile flow and bile copper excretion were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in Simmental, and plasma copper and zinc concentration higher in the Angus.

Keywords

minerals, metabolism, bile, Cu, Zn, cattle, breed, pregnancy

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