Role of Selenium in Alteration of Erythrocyte Parameters in Bovine Fluorosis

  • Han, Bo (College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Yoon, Soon-Seek (National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service) ;
  • Wu, Pei-Fu (College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Han, Hong-Ryul (College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University) ;
  • Liang, Li-Cheng (College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2005.04.11
  • Accepted : 2005.09.20
  • Published : 2006.06.01


Signs of dental discolouration, difficulty in mastication, bony exostosis and debility were observed in cattle from Qingtongxia Ningxia, China where fluoride concentration in drinking water, soil, fodder, serum, bone, teeth, haircoat and urine were significantly higher than the corresponding health site. The problem of fluorosis in beef cattle is attributable to water containing toxic levels of fluoride. The objective of this paper was therefore to evaluate the influence of fluoride on erythrocyte parameters in cattle under high fluoride and low selenium conditions, as well as the protective efficacy of selenium exposure in feedstuff for bovine endemic fluorosis. Sixteen 6 to 7 year-old high fluoride beef cattle were randomly allotted into two groups each with eight cows: high fluoride control group, and supplemented with 0.25 mg/kg selenium per day for 83 days respectively. In addition, eight 6 to 7 year-old normal control beef cattle were selected from a non-high fluoride site. Blood samples were collected on day 0, 30 and 83 for erythrocyte parameters analysis and scanning electronic microscopy. The results indicated that erythrocytes, hemoglobin, packed cell volume values and $Na^+-K^+$ ATPase activity from affected cattle on the high fluoride site were significantly reduced during the period as compared with the corresponding samples of normal control cattle, a great number of echinocytes were present in peripheral blood, and subsequent anaemia. However, affected cattle exposed to selenium revealed increasable erythrocyte parameters, the extent of elevation in these values being dependent on the duration of supplementation with selenium. These findings suggest that fluoride exposure can cause erythrocyte damage, whereas selenium supplementation can antagonize fluoride-induced generation of free radicals and cumulative effects of lipid peroxidation in erythrocytes. Selenium supplementation may help to alleviate the possible hazards associated with bovine endemic fluorosis.


Cattle;Erythrocyte Parameters;Endemic Fluorosis;Selenium


Supported by : Natural Scientific Foundation of China


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