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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Low Fe Absorption and Signs of Anemia in Cu-Deficient Rats Are Reversed by Short-Term Dietary Supplementation with Cu

item Reeves, Phillip
item Demars, Lana

Submitted to: Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2004
Publication Date: March 7, 2005
Citation: Reeves, P.G., DeMars, L.C. 2005. Low Fe absorption and signs of anemia in Cu-deficient rats are reversed by short-term dietary supplementation with Cu [abstract]. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal. 19(5):A1485.

Technical Abstract: Dietary Cu deficiency reduces Fe absorption, and causes anemia in rats (Reeves & DeMars, J.Nutr., 134: 1953, 2004). Can these effects be reversed by dietary supplements of Cu? One group of 24 male weanling rats, was fed an AIN-93G diet with low Cu (<0.3 mg/kg; CuD), and one group of 16 rats was fed a similar diet with adequate Cu (5.0 mg/kg; CuA). At d 28, 8 rats from each of the treatment groups were tested for signs of CuD and anemia and for Fe absorption by using 59Fe and whole body counting. Also at 28 d, 8 rats from the CuD group were fed the CuA diet for 7 more days, and the rest remained on their assigned regimen. At d 35, all remaining rats were tested for Fe absorption, and on d 42, they were tested for signs of CuD and anemia. At d 28, CuD rats had low serum Cu and low ceruloplasmin (Cp) activity and absorbed 57% (p<0.001) as much Fe as CuA rats. CuD rats displayed signs of severe anemia, including low Hgb, low Hct, low RBC count, low MCV, and elevated RDW, all with p<0.001, when compared to rats fed CuA diets. On d 35 Fe absorption was no longer depressed in rats refed Cu. At d 42, serum Cu and Cp activity were restored to normal in the refed rats. Signs of anemia also were reversed, although not to the level in rats continuously fed CuA diet. These findings suggest that signs of Fe deficiency in CuD rats are quickly reversed upon supplementing the diet with Cu, and most likely originate as the result of an increased Fe absorption.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015
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