|Mutat Res 2001 Nov 15;498(1-2):1-6
DNA damage induced by copper deficiency in cattle assessed by the Comet assay.
Picco SJ, De Luca JC, Mattioli G, Dulout FN.
Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Centro de Investigaciones en Genetica Basica y Aplicada (CIGEBA), Universidad Nacional de La Plata, 60 y 118, CC 296, B1900AVW La Plata, Argentina.
Cattle hypocuprosis is a well-known endemic disease in several parts of the world. In a previous paper, the clastogenic effect of copper deficiency in cattle has been described although the occurrence of DNA damage was not directly tested. For this reason, the relation between DNA damage assessed by the Comet assay and Cu plasma concentration was studied in Aberdeen Angus cattle. Blood samples were obtained in heparinized Vacutainer® tubes from 28 female Aberdeen Angus cows during pregnancy or immediately after to give birth. Each sample was divided into two aliquots for Comet assay and Cu plasma determination, respectively. From the 28 cattle sampled, 17 were normocupremic and 11 were hypocupremic. Results obtained showed that whereas the average plasma Cu level in normocupremic cattle was 67.6 microg/dl, in hypocupremic cattle it was 32.1 microg/dl. The increase of DNA damage was mostly evidenced by the decrease of comet degree 1 cells and an increase of comet degree 2 cells. Correlation analysis comparing plasma Cu levels and degree 1 cells showed a correlation coefficient 0.72 (P<0.01). The comparison between plasma Cu levels and comet degree 2 cells was -0.65 (P<0.01). The comparison between plasma Cu levels and the comet length-head diameter medians determined in 23 out of 28 animals showed a correlation coefficient of -0.54 (P<0.01). The induction of DNA damage was clearly supported by the fact that the decrease of plasma Cu levels was correlated with the increase of comet length-head diameter. These findings could be considered as a contribution to the hypothesis that DNA and chromosome damage are a consequence of the higher oxidative stress suffered by hypocupremic animals.