Associations between maternal trace element deficiencies and abortion have been made for many mammalian species. Objectives of this study were to estimate and correlate maternal and fetal hepatic Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn concentrations through gestation. Additionally, aborted fetuses, stratified by cause of abortion (infectious or noninfectious), were compared to size-matched nonaborted fetuses to examine for magnitude and direction of change in hepatic trace element status. Dam and fetal liver were removed at slaughter from 103 Holstein dairy cows judged grossly normal by ante- and postmortem examination. Liver samples were collected from fetuses submitted by veterinarians for routine diagnosis of abortion (n = 80). Hepatic Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn concentrations were determined by flame spectrophotometry. Comparisons of groups, estimations of correlations, and derived prediction equations were made by least-squares methods. Maternal liver Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn concentrations did not vary during gestation. Compared with the dam, fetal liver Fe and Zn concentrations were higher (P < 0.05), fetal Cu concentrations were similar (P > 0.05), and fetal liver Mn concentrations were lower (P < 0.05). As fetal size increased, fetal liver Cu and Zn concentrations increased (P < 0.05), fetal liver Fe concentration decreased (P < 0.05), and fetal liver Mn did not change (P > 0.05). Aborted fetuses had lower liver Cu, Mn, and Zn concentrations than did nonaborted fetuses (P < 0.05). Liver Fe concentration was lower in aborted fetuses than in nonaborted fetuses in the second trimester only (P < 0.05). Consistently lower liver Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn concentrations in aborted fetuses suggest a nonspecific change in trace element status, which implies an effect of abortion, not a cause of abortion.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation : official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc|
|State||Published - Jan 1994|
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