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J Vet Sci. 2017 Sep 30;18(3):333-340. doi: 10.4142/jvs.2017.18.3.333.

Effect of phosphorus deficiency on erythrocytic morphology and function in cows.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, China.
Harbin Railway Public Security Bureau police dog base, Harbin 150056, China.
College of Life Science, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, China.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of phosphorus (P) deficiency on the morphological and functional characteristics of erythrocytes in cows. Forty Holstein-Friesian dairy cows in mid-lactation were randomly divided into two groups of 20 each and were fed either a low-P diet (0.03% P/kg dry matter [DM]) or a control diet (0.36% P/kg DM). Red blood cell (RBC) indices results showed RBC and mean corpuscular hemoglobin decreased while mean corpuscular volume increased significantly (p < 0.05) in P-deficient cows. Erythrocyte morphology showed erythrocyte destruction in P-deficient cows. Erythrocytes' functional characteristics results showed total bilirubin and indirect bilirubin concentrations and aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase activity levels in the serum of P-deficient cows were significantly higher than those in control diet-fed cows. Activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase in erythrocytes were lower, while the malondialdehyde content was greater, in P-deficient cows than in control diet-fed cows. Na+/K+-ATPase and Mg2+-ATPase activities were lower in P-deficient cows than in control diet-fed cows; however, Ca2+-ATPase activity was not significantly different. The phospholipid composition of the erythrocyte membrane changed and membrane fluidity rigidified in P-deficient cows. The results indicate that P deficiency might impair erythrocyte integrity and functional characteristics in cows.


cow; erythrocyte; function; morphology; phosphorus deficiency

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