The Impact of Element–Element Interactions on Antioxidant Enzymatic Activity in the Blood of White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) Chicks

  • Piotr KamińskiEmail author
  • Nataliya Kurhalyuk
  • Mariusz Kasprzak
  • Leszek Jerzak
  • Halyna Tkachenko
  • Małgorzata Szady-Grad
  • Jacek J. Klawe
  • Beata Koim


The aim of this work was to determine interrelationships among macroelements Na, K, Ca, Mg, and Fe, microelements Zn, Cu, Mn, and Co, and toxic heavy metals Pb and Cd in the blood of white stork Ciconia ciconia, during postnatal development, in different Polish environments, and their impact on the activity of antioxidant enzymes. We considered the content of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARSs), i.e., malondialdehyde (MDA), and activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), ceruloplasmine (CP), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione reductase (GR). Blood samples were collected from storks developing at Odra meadows (Kłopot; southwestern Poland). They were compared with blood of chicks from several suburban sites located 20 km away from Zielona Góra (0.1 million inhabitants; southwestern Poland) and near Głogów, where a copper smelter is situated. We also conducted research in the Pomeranian region (Cecenowo; northern Poland). We collected blood samples via venipuncture of the brachial vein of chicks in 2005–2007. They were retrieved from the nest and placed in individual ventilated cotton sacks. The blood was collected using a 5-ml syringe washed with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). We found significant interactions between macro- and microelements and enzymatic activity and TBARS products. We noticed the predominance of Cd and Pb participation in element–enzyme interactions. Simultaneously, we found interrelationships between cadmium and Na, K, Ca, Mg, and Fe and the activity of antioxidant enzymes SOD, CAT, CP, GR, and TBARS products in the blood of white stork chicks. In the case of lead these relationships were not numerous and they were significant for Ca, Mg, Cu, Mn, and Co. Correlations with enzymes were significant for Pb-CAT and Pb-TBARS. We noted that activities of most enzymes (SOD, CAT, CP, GR) and TBARS products are determined by their interactions with physiological elements Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, and Zn and toxic heavy metals. White stork chicks ranged in age from 17 to 59 days. Concentrations of elements in the blood were age related. Among enzymes, only SOD, CAT, and GPx were age related. Young storks differed in the case of element concentration (except for Ca, Zn, and Cd) and enzymatic activity. We found that significant element–element interaction/enzyme activity predominated in the case of physiological elements and toxic metals, which we explain by the intensive and prevailing access of toxic metals in redox reactions. This causes changes in the priority of these metals, reflected by their influence on the enzymatic activity of antioxidant enzymes. The content of Cd and Pb in blood of young storks from different regions tends to affect the lipid peroxidation process negatively. However, in many cases we observed an increase in enzymatic activity with an increase in heavy metals. This indicates the changes in oxidative stress intensity in chicks in response to environmental differentiation. The increase in lipoperoxidation modifies antioxidant enzyme activity and causes changes in SOD, CAT, CP, GPx, and GR activity in chicks from various regions, principally increases in enzyme activity in chicks from polluted environments and suburbs. We suggest that the source of heavy metals in chicks’ blood might be used as a biological test system of adaptation to oxidative stress. We also report that a high level of heavy metals is accompanied by increased lipid peroxidation. Thus young storks are probably significantly susceptible to environmental conditions. They demonstrated initiation of lipoperoxidation and oxidative modification of proteins that coincide with chemical elements, as a possible antioxidant defense system.


Antioxidant Enzyme Quercetine Glutathione Reductase Antioxidant Defense System Toxic Heavy Metal 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piotr Kamiński
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nataliya Kurhalyuk
    • 2
  • Mariusz Kasprzak
    • 2
  • Leszek Jerzak
    • 3
  • Halyna Tkachenko
    • 4
  • Małgorzata Szady-Grad
    • 5
  • Jacek J. Klawe
    • 5
  • Beata Koim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Environmental ProtectionNicolaus Copernicus University, Collegium Medicum in BydgoszczBydgoszczPoland
  2. 2.Department of Animal PhysiologyPomeranian Academy, Institute of Biology and Environmental ProtectionSlupskPoland
  3. 3.Faculty of Biological SciencesUniversity of Zielona Góra, Institute of Biotechnology and Environment ProtectionZielona GóraPoland
  4. 4.Department of Hygiene and ToxicologyDanylo Halytskiy Lviv National Medical UniversityLvivUkraine
  5. 5.Department of Hygiene and EpidemiologyNicolaus Copernicus University, Collegium Medicum in BydgoszczBydgoszczPoland

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