The effect of copper level in the diet on the distribution, and biological and immunological responses in a rat model
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University of Life Science in Lublin, Faculty of Biology, Animal Sciences and Bioeconomy, Department of Biochemistry and Toxicology, Akademicka 13, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Division of Food Science, Tuwima 10, 10-748 Olsztyn, Poland
Publication date: 2018-12-03
Corresponding author
E. Cholewińska   

University of Life Science in Lublin, Faculty of Biology, Animal Sciences and Bioeconomy, Department of Biochemistry and Toxicology, Akademicka 13, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2018;27(4):349–360
The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of copper (Cu) level in the diet on the distribution, and biological and immunological responses in a rat model. Two experimental groups of rats received a diet containing the recommended (higher) amount (6.5 mg/kg) of CuCO3 (CuH) or a diet containing the reduced (lower) level of Cu (without CuCO3 supplementation; CuL) for 7 or 35 days (T7 and T35, respectively; in total 4 subgroups). Reduced level of Cu caused a decrease in the Cu excretion in faeces and an increase in the Cu level in urine, but in overall the digestibility and utilization indexes of Cu were increased. There was also found a decrease in the Cu content in the plasma and liver in CuL group (results of a 5-day balance tests). After 7 days the reduction of Cu dose caused a decrease in plasma contents of Cu, Zn, Fe, MI (%), GRA (109/l), IgA and IgM; on the other hand the plasma contents of Mg, WBC, LYM (%) and BIL, and activities of ALP and GGT were increased. The elongation of the feeding period from 7 to 35 days in the CuH group caused a decrease of Zn, P, IgA, BIL, TC, TG plasma contents, and activity of ALT, LDH and an increase in WBC, LYM (%), MID (109/l), MI (%), GRA (%), RBC, HB, IgM, IL-6, GLU, UA, ALB and HDL and activities of AST, ALP and GGT. However when the CuL diet was elongated, decreased plasma contents of Cu, IgA, IgM, IL-6, GLU, ALB and BIL, and activity of GGT; and increased plasma contents of Zn, WBC, LYM (%) and GRA (109/l), and activity of ALP were stated in comparison to CuH group. The results of the study suggest that rats partially develop adaptive mechanisms, thanks to which are able to function at a reduced level of Cu in the diet. But, reduced level of Cu in the diet may interfere with the immune response and BIL and ALB metabolisms, playing an antioxidant role in the body. Furthermore, it can be indicated that the level of many blood indicators may depend on the growth of rats, therefore it may not be assumed that the supplementation of Cu in rats is completely unnecessary.
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