Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research
On-line version ISSN 2219-0635
GOONERATNE, S Ravi; LAARVELD, Bernard; PATHIRANA, Kumar.K and CHRISTENSEN, David.A. Biliary and plasma copper and zinc in pregnant Simmental and Angus cattle. Onderstepoort j. vet. res. [online]. 2013, vol.80, n.1, pp. 01-07. ISSN 2219-0635.
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.