- Volume 23 Issue 6
Pregnant rats were fed liquid diet to determine the influence of maternal ethanol intake on maternal and pup liver copper when dietary copper was low. The diets, which contained either 0.75(low) or 3.75(control)mg copper/1 with or without 30% of kcal from ethanol, were fed throughout gestation and the first 15 days of lactation. maternal calorie intake and body weight were unaffected by dietary treatment. Ethanol intake depressed maternal liver copper concentration only when diet copper was low(interactive effect P<0.05). Although ethanol intake depressed total pup liver copper concentration regardless of dietary copper level, the interactive effect observed in maternal liver was reflected incopper content of the pup liver metallothionein fraction eluted from a Sephadex G-75 column. The zinc content of metallothionein was inversely related to copper content of metallothionein. Results suggest that pregnancy and lactation is a special period to develop a copper deficiency when low copper intake and ethanol ingestion are combined not only in mothers but also in their offspring.