Effect of Nickel Supplementation on Liver and Kidney Function Test and Protein Metabolism in Growing Cattle

  • Anuj Singh
  • Muneendra KumarEmail author
  • Vinod Kumar
  • Debashis Roy
  • Raju Kushwaha
  • Shalini Vaswani
  • Avinash Kumar
Research Article


This study was conducted to assess the nickel (Ni) content of commonly available feedstuffs and their supplemental effect on biomarkers of liver and kidney function and protein metabolism in growing cattle. Eighteen growing Hariana heifers were randomly assigned to three groups for 90 days and managed on similar feeding regimen except that these three groups were supplemented with 0.0 (Ni0.0), 1.5 (Ni1.5), and 3.0 (Ni3.0) of Ni/kg DMI. Cereal grain by-products, cakes and meals, green fodders, molasses, and compounded concentrate were high in Ni content. Cereal grains, straw, and stovers were moderate to low in Ni content. Dietary supplementation of 3.0 mg of Ni/kg DMI showed linear increase (P < 0.01) in average daily gain. No effects of treatments were observed on haemoglobin concentration, haematocrit value, aspartate aminotransferase level, alanine aminotransferase level, and alkaline phosphatase level. Circulating levels of bilirubin (P < 0.05) and creatinine (P < 0.01) showed dose-dependent increase with supplemental Ni. Heifers receiving diet supplemented with Ni showed higher (P < 0.001) plasma urease activity, plasma levels of total protein, albumin, globulin, and plasma urea nitrogen as compared to non-supplemented heifers. Ni supplementation showed a trend of linear increase (P < 0.001) in plasma Ni concentrations, and Ni level was observed highest in Ni3.0 group. Mean plasma iron (Fe) concentration showed no effect of Ni supplementation. The results of the present study indicate that Ni supplementation seems to improve performance in growing cattle by modulating urease activity and protein metabolism.


Growing cattle Nickel Haematology Liver and kidney function Protein metabolism Urease activity 



The authors would like to thank the staff of the Department of Animal Nutrition and Instructional Livestock Farm Complex, DUVASU, Mathura, India. The authors also gratefully acknowledge Dr. Mukul Anand and Dr. Mukesh Srivastava for assistance during analysis of heamatological and biochemical attributes.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Sharma MC, Joshi C, Das G, Hussain K (2007) Mineral nutrition and reproductive performance of the dairy animals: a review. Indian J Anim Sci 77:599–608Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Davies BE (1981) Trace element pollution. In: Davies BE (ed) Applied soil trace elements, 4th edn. Wiley, Chichester, pp 287–351Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Nielsen FH (2000) Importance of making dietary recommendations for elements designated as nutritionally beneficial, pharmacologically beneficial, or conditionally essential. J Trace Elem Exp Med 13:113–129Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Afridi HI, Kazi TG, Kazi N (2011) Evaluation of status of cadmium, lead, and nickel levels in biological samples of normal and night blindness children of age groups 3–7 and 8–12 years. Biol Trace Elem Res 142(3):350–361Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Anke M, Angelow L, Glei M et al (1995) The biological importance of nickel in the food chain. Fresenius J Anal Chem 352:92Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    La Bella FS, Dular R, Lemons P, Vivian S, Queen M (1973) Prolactin secretion is specifically inhibited by nickel. Nature 245:330–332Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Oscar TP, Spears JW, Shih JC (1987) Performance, methanogenesis and nitrogen metabolism of finishing steers fed monensin and nickel. J Anim Sci 64(3):887–896Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Spears JW, Smith CJ, Hatfield EE (1977) Rumen bacterial urease requirement for nickel. J Dairy Sci 60:1073–1076Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kechrid Z, Dahdouh F, Djabar RM, Bouzerna N (2006) Combined effect of water contamination with cobalt and nickel on metabolism of albino (wistar) rats. J Environ Health Sci Eng 3(1):65–69Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ray WJ Jr, Multani JS (1972) Characterization of the metal binding site of phosphoglucomutase by spectral studies of its cobalt(II) and nickel(II) complexes. Biochemistry 11(15):2805–2812Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kasprzak KS, Sunderman FW Jr, Salnikow K (2003) Nickel carcinogenesis. Mutat Res 533(1–2):67–97Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Nielsen FH, Shuler TR, Meleod TG, Zimmerman TJ (1984) Nickel influences iron metabolism through physiologic, pharmacologic and toxicologic mechanisms in rats. J Nutr 114:1280–1288Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ololade A, Oginni O (2010) Toxic stress and hematological effects of nickel on African catfish, Clarias gariepinus, fingerlings. J Environ Chem Eco 2(2):14–19Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    National Research Council (2001) Nutrient requirements of dairy cattle, 2nd revised edn. National Academy of Sciences, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Association of Official Analytical Chemists (2005) Official methods of analysis, 18th edn. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, ArlingtonGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Van Soest PJ, Robertson JB, Lewis BA (1991) Symposium: carbohydrate methodology, metabolism and nutritional implications in dairy cattle. Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber and non starch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. J Dairy Sci 74(10):3583–3597Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Talapatra SK, Roy SC, Sen KC (1940) The analysis of mineral constituents in biological materials. Estimation of phosphorus, chlorine, calcium, manganese, sodium and potassium in foodstuffs. Ind J Vet Sci Anim Husb 10:243–258Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    AOCS (2011) Urease activity, Official methods and recommended practices of the American Oil Chemist Society, 6th edn. Second Printing, UrbanaGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mc Dowell LR (1985) Nutrition of grazing ruminants in warm climates. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Anke M, Henning A, Grun M, Partschefeld M, Groppel B, Ludkf H (1977) Nickel, an essential trace element. The supply of nickel as affecting the live weight gains, food consumption and body composition of growing pigs and goats. Arch Fur Tier 27:25–34Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    O’Dell GD, Miller WJ, King WA, Moore SL, Blackman DM (1970) Nickel toxicity in the young bovine. J Nutr 100:1447–1454Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    O’Dell GD, Miller WJ, Moore SL, King WA, Ellers JC, Jurecek H (1971) Effect of dietary nickel level on excretion and nickel content of tissues in male calves. J Anim Sci 32:769–773Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Spears JW, Hatfield EE, Forbes RM (1979) Nickel for Ruminants II, influence of dietary nickel on performance and metabolic parameters. J Anim Sci 48:649–657Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bersenyi A, Fekete SG, Szilagyi M, Berta E, Zoldag L, Glavits R (2004) Effects of nickel supply on the fattening performance and several biochemical parameters of broiler chickens and rabbits. Acta Vet Hung 52(2):185–197Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Spears JW, Hatfield EE (1980) Role of nickel in ruminant nutrition. In: Anke M, Schneider HJ, Bruckner C (eds) Spurenelement-symposium, nickel. Friedrich-Schiller University, Jena, pp 47–53Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Das KK, Das SN, Dhundasi SA (2008) Nickel, its adverse health effects and oxidative stress. Indian J Med Res 128:412–425Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Spears JW (1984) Nickel as a ‘newer trace element’ in the nutrition of domestic animals. J Anim Sci 59:823–834Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ambrose AM, Larson PS, Borzelleca JR, Hennigar GR Jr (1976) Long term toxicologic assessment of nickel in rats and dogs. J Food Sci Technol 13:181–187Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Schnegg A, Kirchgessner M (1975) Veranderun- gen des hamoblobingehaltes, der erythrocyten- zahl und des manatorkrits bei nickelmangel. Nutr Metab 19:268–278Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Nielsen FH, Sauberlich HE (1970) Evidence of a possible requirement for nickel by the chick. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 134:845–849Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Arjun JM, Das PS, Day DS, Das MK (2002) Role of vitamin C pretreatment in reducing the blood lead level and lead induced toxic effect in erythrocyte cell membrane. Proc Natl Acad Sci India 72(B III to IV):313–318Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Nielsen FH, Zimmerman TJ (1981) Interactions among nickel, copper and iron in rats. Biol Trace Elem Res 3:83–98Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Anke M, Kronemann H, Groppel B, Hennig A, Meissner D, Schneider HJ (1980) The influence of nickel deficiency on growth, reproduction, longevity and different biochemical parameters of goats. In: Proceeding of 3rd international trace element symposium, University Leipzig-Jena, Germany, pp 3–10Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Spears JW, Hatfield EE, Forbes RM, Koenig SE (1978) Studies on the role of nickel in the ruminant. J Nutr 108:313–320Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Donskoy E, Donskoy M, Forouhar F, Gillies CG, Marzouk A, Reid MC, Zaharia O, Sunderman FW Jr (1986) Hepatic toxicity of nickel chloride in rats. Clin Lab Med J 16:117–120Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Qaisar A, Munir N, Inayat N, Hanif A, Khan SA (2016) Hepatotoxic effect of nickel sulphate on mice. Biomedica 32(3):187–193Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Bouhalit S, Kechrid Z (2018) Protective effect of Silymarin extracted from Silybum marianum seeds upon nickel-induced hepatotoxicity in albino wistar rats. Ann Microbiol Immunol 1(1):1005Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Magaye Ruth R, Yue X, Zou B et al (2014) Cute toxicity of nickel nanoparticles in rats after intravenous injection. Int J Nanomed 9:1393–1402Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Caldeira RM, Belo AT, Santos CC (2007) The effect of body condition score on blood metabolites and hormonal profiles in ewes. Small Rumin Res 68:233–241Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Amudha K, Pari L (2011) Beneficial role of naringin, a flavanoid on nickel induced nephrotoxicity in rats. Chem Biol Interact 193(1):57–64Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Hasanein P, Felegari Z (2017) Chelating effects of carnosine in ameliorating nickel-induced nephrotoxicity in rats. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 95(12):1426–1432Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Kadi I, Dahdouh F (2016) Vitamin C pretreatment protects from nickel-induced acute nephrotoxicity in mice. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol 67:210–215Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Gawthorne JM (1987) Copper interactions. In: Howell JMC, Gawthorne JM (eds) Copper in animals and man. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 79–99Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Nielsen FH (1987) Nickel. In: Mertz W (ed) Trace elements in human animal nutrition, vol 1. Academic Press, San Diego, pp 245–273Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Whanger PD (1973) Effects of dietary nickel on enzyme activities and mineral contents in rats. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 25:323–331Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Spears JW, Harvey RW, Samsell L (1986) Effects of dietary nickel and protein on growth, nitrogen metabolism and tissue concentrations of nickel, iron, zinc, manganese and copper in calves. J Nutr 116:1873–1882Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Oscar TP, Spears JW (1988) Nickel-induced alterations of in vitro and in vivo ruminal fermentation. J Anim Sci 66(9):2313–2324Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Milne J, Whitelaw F, Price J, Shand W (1990) The effect of supplementary nickel on urea metabolism in sheep given a low protein diet. Anim Sci 50(3):507–512Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Obone E, Chakrabarty SK, Bai C, Malick MA, Lamantagne L, Subramanian KS (1999) Toxicity and biaoaccumulation of nickel sulphate in Sprague-Dawley rats following 13 weeks of subchronic exposure. J Toxicol Environ Health 57:379–401Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Indre S, Jurgita S, Ilona S, Leonid I (2014) The effects of lead and nickel ions on total proteins and metallothioneins synthesis in mice. Liver Biologija 60(1):17–21Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The National Academy of Sciences, India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal Nutrition, College of Veterinary Science and Animal HusbandryU.P. Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan Vishwavidyalaya Evam Go-Anusandhan Sansthan (DUVASU)MathuraIndia

Personalised recommendations