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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Chronological Study on the Effects of Cu Deficiency on Fe Absorption and Metabolism in Male Rats

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. A chronological study on the effects of Cu deficiency on Fe absorption and metabolism in male rats [abstract]. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal. 19(5):A1485.

Technical Abstract: Dietary Cu deficiency (CuD) reduces Fe absorption, and causes anemia in rats (Reeves & DeMars, J.Nutr., 134: 1953, 2004). Are the two effects related? A study was carried out to determine the relationship between the onset of signs of CuD and those of CuD-induced anemia, and other parameters of Fe metabolism. Two groups of 40 male weanling rats, were fed either an AIN-93G diet with low Cu (<0.3 mg/kg) or one with adequate Cu (5.0 mg/kg). At 0, 4, 7, 14, 17, 21, 28, and 35 d, 5 rats per group were killed and blood and tissues were collected to determine indicators of Cu and Fe status. Signs of CuD, including reduced serum ceruloplasmin activity and serum and liver Cu, were evident at d 4 in rats fed the CuD diet. Low serum Fe was detected at d 4 of CuD, but signs of anemia, such as low Hgb, Hct, and RBC count, were not evident until d 14, near the in vivo half-life of rat RBCs (14.5-18.5 d). Duodenal mucosa Fe was elevated at d 4 in CuD rats, but liver Fe was not increased until d 7; both tissues maintained high Fe throughout the study. Fe absorption (reported at EB 2004) was reduced in CuD rats at d 7, but not significantly; at d 28, Fe absorption was significantly (p<0.001) reduced by 50%. These findings suggest that signs of Fe deficiency, including anemia, are initiated early in CuD, and most likely originate as the result of a reductions in Fe absorption.

Last Modified: 4/20/2015
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