Original Research

The effect of storage conditions on samples for the evaluation of copper status in blesbok (Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi)

M. Quan, M.S. Mulders, D.G.A. Meltzer
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 73, No 3 | a570 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v73i3.570 | © 2002 M. Quan, M.S. Mulders, D.G.A. Meltzer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 July 2002 | Published: 06 July 2002

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M. Quan,
M.S. Mulders,
D.G.A. Meltzer,

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Abstract

Investigaltions to determine the effect of sample storage on the concentration of copper in liver tissue and on the activity of erythrocyte superoxide dismutase were undertaken in preparation for a study of blesbok (Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi) that were suspected to be suffering from copper deficiency. Two liver samples were collected from each of 20 culled blesbok in a manner that simulated the collection of biopsies from the live animal. These samples were stored either in 10 % formalin or frozen at -20 °C until analysed 4 1/2 months later. The effect of different methods of sample storage on superoxide dismutase activity was determined. Erythrocytes collected from 3 Jersey cows and 5 culled blesbok were washed and divided into 0.5m portions, stored at room temperature (~20 °C), in a refrigerator (4 °C), frozen at -20 °C in a freezer, and in liquid nitrogen (-200 °C). An analysis of superoxide dismutase activity was undertaken using a commercial assay kit at intervals of 2-4 days until the levels of activity had fallen significantly. The copper concentration in formalin-preserved liver samples was significantly lower than that measured in frozen liver tissue apparently as a result of leaching. The activity of superoxide dismutase in cattle blood was unchanged for 4 days at room temperature but fell appreciably after 2 days at 4 °C and -20 °C. Enzyme activity remained unchanged for 200 days in erythrocytes stored in liquid nitrogen. Superoxide dismutase activity levels in healthy blesbok were considerably lower than those measured in Jersey cows and remained unaffected for up to 6 days in samples stored at 4 °C and 20 °C. The level of activity fell significantly thereafter. Samples stored in liquid nitrogen were unchanged after 40 days.

Keywords

Blesbok; Copper; Formalin; Frozen; Liver; Sample Storage; Superoxide Dismutase

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