Humoral and Cellular Immunity in Chromium Picolinate-Supplemented Lambs
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The effects of oral supplementation of chromium picolinate (CrPic) on humoral and cellular immunity in sheep were investigated. Twenty-four male lambs divided into four treatments and received different dosages of CrPic: placebo (0), 0.250, 0.375, and 0.500 mg of chromium/animal/day during 84 days. The base ration was Panicum maximum cv Massai hay and concentrate. Blood samples were collected fortnightly for total and differential leukocyte counts. On days 28 and 56, the lambs were challenged with chicken ovalbumin I.M. Serum samples were collected on days 46 and 74 and subjected to an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure IgG anti-ovalbumin. The cell-mediated immune response was determined by a delay-type hypersensitivity test using phytohemagglutinin. CrPic did not significantly affect humoral immunity in lambs but there was a negative effect on cellular immunity (P < 0.05) as Cr supplementation increased. Therefore, the level of Cr supplementation for lambs must be better studied to address its effect on stressed animals or the possible toxic effects of Cr on the animal itself or its immune system.
KeywordsHair sheep Delay-type hypersensibility Micromineral supplementation Cell-mediated immune response Superfluous cost
The authors would like to thank CNPq, INCT-Pecuária (CNPq/FAPEMIG), and CAPES/PROCAD-“Novas Fronteiras 2007” for the scholarships and to FINATEC and FAPDF for financial support. Special thanks to the teachers Márcio Martins Pimentel and Andrea Queiroz Maranhão for their technical support of this study.
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