Associations among prostaglandin F2alpha, plasma zinc, copper and iron concentrations and fetal loss in cows and mares

T. W. Graham, S. N. Giri, P. F. Daels, J. S. Cullor, C. L. Keen, M. C. Thurmond, J. D. Dellinger, G. H. Stabenfeldt, B. I. Osburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that PGF2alpha is associated with abortion and changes in plasma Zn, Cu, and Fe concentrations in cows and mares in their first trimester of pregnancy. Eleven pregnant cows were infused with endotoxin (n = 5) or endotoxin plus an inhibitor of cycloxygenase, flunixin meglumine (n = 6). Blood was collected over a 5-d period. Additionally, 4 mares were treated every 24 h with cloprostenol sodium and blood was collected hourly until abortion. Plasma Zn, Cu, and Fe were determined. Three of five cows treated with endotoxin aborted, but none of the six cows treated with endotoxin and flunixin meglumine aborted. Aborting cows had lower plasma Zn (P = 0.048) over the 5-d study period compared with the nonaborting cows. The changes in Zn corresponded to release of PGF2alpha. All 4 mares aborted and plasma Zn concentrations were lower (P = 0.008) and Cu/Zn was higher (P = 0.02) 12 h after cloprostenol treatment. Plasma Zn may be a useful biomarker for risk of spontaneous abortion, and the decline in plasma Zn may be caused by PGF2alpha.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-390
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995



  • abortion
  • acute phase
  • inflammation
  • trace elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine
  • Food Animals
  • Small Animals

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