Effect of grazing pasture with a low selenium content on the concentrations of triiodothyronine and thyroxine in serum, and GSH-Px activity in erythrocytes in cows in Chile

Effect of grazing pasture with a low selenium content on the concentrations of triiodothyronine and thyroxine in serum, and GSH-Px activity in erythrocytes in cows in Chile
Peer reviewed

Abstract

AIM: To determine the effect of grazing pasture that had a low selenium (Se) concentration on serum concentrations of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), and erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity in dairy cows.
METHODS: Forty pregnant Friesian cows were grazed on pasture that contained 0.03–0.04 ppm Se on a dry matter (DM) basis. Two months before parturition, 20 cows were randomly selected and treated with 1 mg Se/kg bodyweight subcutaneously, as barium selenate (Group Se-S). The other group (Se-D) was not supplemented. Blood samples were taken before supplementation (–60 days) and 30, 60, 90, 180 and 270 days after parturition, for determination of concentrations of T3 and T4 in serum, and GSH-Px activity in erythrocytes.
RESULTS: Erythrocyte GSH-Px activity in the Se-D group was <60 U/g haemoglobin (Hb) throughout the experiment. Supplementation increased (p<0.05) activities to >130 U/g Hb throughout lactation. Mean serum concentrations of T4 in Se-D and Se-S cows increased from 23.7 (SEM 0.7) and 23.4 (SEM 0.8) nmol/L, respectively, in the prepartum period to 69.6 (SEM 0.1) and 67.6 (SEM 0.2) nmol/L, respectively, at 180 days of lactation (p<0.01), and no effect of Se supplementation was evident. Serum concentrations of T3 in Se-D cows decreased (p<0.05) from 1.6 (SEM 0.1) nmol/L prepartum to 1.0 (SEM 0.2) nmol/L at the beginning of lactation, and remained lower (p<0.05) than those in the Se-S cows which did not decrease after calving and ranged from 1.9 (SEM 0.1) to 2.4 (SEM 0.2) nmol/L throughout lactation.
CONCLUSIONS: Serum T3 concentrations decreased during early lactation in unsupplemented cows grazing pastures low in Se (0.03–0.04 ppm) and both serum T3 and erythrocyte GSHPx activities were consistently lower throughout lactation compared with Se-supplemented cows. Se supplementation had no effect on serum T4 concentrations.
KEY WORDS: Selenium, supplementation, cows, GSH-Px, thyroxine, T4, triiodothyronine, T3

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