, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 389-397

Interactions between toxic (As, Cd, Hg and Pb) and nutritional essential (Ca, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Se, Zn) elements in the tissues of cattle from NW Spain

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Abstract

Since the toxicity of one metal or metalloid can be dramatically modulated by the interaction with other toxic or essential metals, studies addressing the chemical interactions between trace elements are increasingly important. In this study correlations between the main toxic (As, Cd, Hg and Pb) and nutritional essential (Ca, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Se, Zn) elements were evaluated in the tissues (liver, kidney and muscle) of 120 cattle from NW Spain, using Spearman rank correlation analysis based on analytical data obtained by ICP-AES. Although accumulation of toxic elements in cattle in this study is very low and trace essential metals are generally within the adequate ranges, there were significant associations between toxic and essential metals. Cd was positively correlated with most of the essential metals in the kidney, and with Ca, Co and Zn in the liver. Pb was significantly correlated with Co and Cu in the liver. A large number of significant associations between essential metals were found in the different tissues, these correlations being very strong between Ca, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo and Zn in the kidney. Co was moderately correlated with most of the essential metals in the liver. In general, interactions between trace elements in this study were similar to those found in polluted areas or in experimental studies in animals receiving diets containing high levels of toxic metals or inadequate levels of nutritional essential elements. These interactions probably indicate that mineral balance in the body is regulated by important homeostatic mechanisms in which toxic elements compete with the essential metals, even at low levels of metal exposure. The knowledge of these correlations may be essential to understand the kinetic interactions of metals and their implications in the trace metal metabolism.