Effect of Dexamethasone Stress on Concentrations of Zinc in Blood Plasma and in Sub-Cellular Fractions of Various Tissues of Neonatal Buffalo Calves

  • Singh, Charanbir (Department of Veterinary Biochemistry, College of Veterinary Science, Punjab Agricultural University) ;
  • Singha, S.P.S. (Department of Veterinary Biochemistry, College of Veterinary Science, Punjab Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2001.11.07
  • Accepted : 2002.02.18
  • Published : 2002.07.01


Effect of chemical stress of daily administration of glucocorticoid (dexamethasone @0.125 mg./calf/day) injections on plasma zinc levels, Zn status of body tissues and its distribution in sub cellular fractions, was studied in neonatal buffalo calves. Daily i/m injections of dexamethasone, starting at the completion of 1 week of age and continued till 8th week, led to a significant decline in plasma Zn concentration from 3rd week onwards, which then persisted throughout the rest of the experimental period. In control group, liver had the highest concentration of zinc, followed by heart, muscle, spleen, kidney and testis. In all these tissues, cytosolic fractions had the highest (>60%) zinc levels followed by nuclear, mitochondrial and microsomal fractions. In dexamethasone treated calves, there was a significant increase in the Zn uptake by the tissues of liver and muscle. This increase in zinc concentration was observed in all the sub cellular fractions of liver and muscle, however about 80% of this increase was in cytosolic fraction. It was concluded that glucocorticoid-induced stress caused increase in Zn levels of liver/muscles and decrease in blood plasma zinc, thus indicating a redistribution of Zn in body.


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