Association between copper deficiency and DNA damage in cattle

Picco, Sebastián Julio; Abba, Martín Carlos; Mattioli, Guillermo Alberto; Fazzio, Luis Emilio; Rosa, Diana Esther; De Luca, Julio César; Dulout, Fernando Noel
Publication Year
Published version
Cattle hypocuprosis is the second most widespread mineral deficiency affecting grazing cattle. The consequences of hypocuprosis include a failure of copper metalloenzymes, many of which form part of the antioxidant defence system. This work focuses on the association between copper (Cu) plasma concentration and DNA damage in Aberdeen Angus cattle. Two-hundred and ninety-nine heparinized blood samples from 2-year-old Aberdeen Angus cows were obtained from different farms located in the Salado River basin, Argentina. Plasma copper level analysis was carried out in whole samples, while cytogenetic analysis and single cell gel electrophoresis assay (comet assay) were carried out in 82 and 217 samples, respectively. Cytogenetic analysis showed a significant increase in the frequency of abnormal metaphases in moderate/severe hypocupremic groups (groups B and C) in relation to the normocupremic group (group A) (4.5 and 1.5 abnormal metaphases/100 cells, respectively, P < 0.01). The Spearman correlation test showed a negative association between cupremic values and the yield of chromosomal aberrations (r = -0.708, P < 0.0001). In the comet assay greater migration was observed in cells from the hypocupremic group, from a median of 54 in the severe hypocupremic group to 31 in the normocupremic group (P < 0.01). Accordingly, the Spearman correlation test showed a significant positive relationship between copper levels and cells without DNA migration and a significant negative relationship between copper levels and cells with a tiny tail (P < 0.0001 in both cases). The results obtained show that hypocupremia in cattle is associated with an increase in the frequency of chromosomal aberrations as well as in DNA migration as assessed by the comet assay. Whereas the comet assay could differentiate copper plasma level groups, chromosomal aberrations only detected differences between normal and hypocupremic animals. The increase of DNA damage found in hypocupremic animals could be explained by higher oxidative stress suffered by these animals.
Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias
Instituto de Genética Veterinaria
Ciencias Veterinarias
Access level
Open access
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
Universidad Nacional de La Plata
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