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Effects of thiomolybdates in chick embryos

, : Effects of thiomolybdates in chick embryos. Nutrition Reports International 40(1): 85-92

The hypothesis that thiomolybdate (TM), a compound of molybdenum (Mo) an sulfur (S), induces copper (Cu) deficiency related teratogenesis in chick embryos was tested. Fertile eggs at 3 days of incubation were injected with doses of TM ranging from 1 7mg to 500 .mu.g. Doses above 1 .mu.g TM were embryolethal. A dose of 1 .mu.g TM did not cause mortality or induce malformations, but produced growth retardation. These embryos also had lower liver and kidney weights. In this group, Cu deficiency symptoms such as cardiac hypertrophy and accumulation of from in liver and kidney were observed. These changes occurred in spite of an increase in liver Cu concentration. It is postulated that entry of Cu into the embryo and hence to the liver is probably not altered but that TM induces a secondary Cu deficiency for binding Cu as Cu-TM complex, thus allowing less Cu available for the normal physiologic growth and functions of the embryo. This emphasizes caution in use of TM as treatment of Cu storage syndromes (Cu toxicity in sheep, Cu toxicosis in Bedlington terriers, Wilson's disease in humans) during pregnancy. These findings are also of relevance to the livestock industry in areas where soil, grins and water are known to contain high levels of Mo, S and/or low levels of Cu.

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