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  • Author or Editor: M. L. Failla x
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The effect of dietary copper deficiency on T-cell mitogenic responsiveness and phenotypic profile of blood mononuclear cells (mnc) in weaned pigs was examined. Outbred, weaned pigs were fed a semipurified diet containing adequate (6.4 mg/kg of body weight) or deficient (0.8 mg/kg) amounts of Cu. Pigs fed the low Cu diet for 10 weeks had markedly decreased concentrations of Cu in liver and plasma, and hypertrophic hearts. In vitro reactivity of mnc from Cu-deflcient pigs to phytohemagglutinin and concanavalin A was significantly suppressed. This functional impairment was not associated with a decrease in the percentages of T cells, CD4 or CD8 cell subsets, or B cells. Expression of sla-dq and sla-dr class II major histocompatibility complex (mhc) antigens was increased by Cu deficiency, the former significantly. Unlike rodents, in which inadequate Cu nutriture induces functional T cell deficiency that is associated with a decrease in the CD4 T-cell subset, swine fed inadequate Cu diets for 10 weeks had no changes in mhc subsets yet clearly manifested functional impairment of T-cell responses.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research