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Journal of comparative pathology

Absorption and excretion of organic compounds of copper by sheep.


PMID 6417197

Abstract

When sheep are injected subcutaneously with copper calcium edetate or copper oxyquinoline sulphonate there is a rapid increase in the concentration of copper in whole blood, serum and urine within the first 24 h. When sheep are injected with copper methionate the concentration of copper in whole blood and serum rises slowly over a period of about 10 days and there is no detectable increase in urinary copper. After the injection of each of the three compounds, there was a steady increase in the caeruloplasmin activity in serum over a period of 10 to 20 days, followed by a slow fall to pre-injection activity by 40 days. There was a marked increase in the beta-globulin fraction of serum 9 days after the injection of copper methionate but not after the other 2 compounds and the amounts of 2 copper containing proteins in liver were greater 60 days after the injection of copper methionate than after the injection of the other two compounds. The copper content of the 3 organic compounds is absorbed and excreted at different rates by sheep. The amounts of copper-containing protein produced in the liver also differ according to the organic component of the compound injected. The results suggest that the lower toxicity of copper injected as methionate compared with that injected as copper calcium edetate or copper oxyquinoline sulphonate is due to the slower absorption and transport of the copper to the liver and kidney.