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Intravenously administered tetra-thiomolybdate and the removal of copper from the liver of copper-loaded sheep

Kumaratilake, J.S. and Howell, J.Mc.C. (1989) Intravenously administered tetra-thiomolybdate and the removal of copper from the liver of copper-loaded sheep. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 101 (2). pp. 177-99.

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Eighteen ewes divided into two groups were dosed orally with CuSO4 in order to induce chronic Cu toxicity. Copper dosing was stopped at the first rise of serum acid phosphatase activity in sheep of group 1 and on the first day of haemolysis in sheep of group 2. Tetra-thiomolybdate was administered intravenously to five group 1 sheep (group 1B) and to group 2 from the cessation of Cu dosing. Following thiomolybdate administration, in groups 1B and 2, there was a reduction in the concentration of Cu in the liver and liver fractions, the number and size of electron-dense lysosomes in particulate liver fractions, the volume density and the mean volume of electron-dense lysosomes in hepatocytes and the number of necrotic cells in the liver. Thiomolybdate appeared to remove Cu from the lysosomes and the cytosol of Cu-loaded liver cells. However, neither the total specific activity of acid phosphatase in liver homogenate and liver fractions nor the numerical density of electron-dense lysosomes in hepatocytes decreased significantly. This may be due to the production of new lysosomes in the liver cells. Furthermore, following thiomolybdate administration, Mo concentration in the liver and liver fractions increased indicating that Mo of thiomolybdate was entering liver cells. The percentage distribution of Cu and Mo in the liver fractions was similar. This may suggest that Mo is bound to Cu and that they remain together with each fraction. The decrease in Cu concentration may indicate that the liver retains its ability to excrete copper via bile.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary Studies
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 1989 Academic Press
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