Effect of different level and source of copper supplementation on immune response and copper dependent enzyme activity in lambs

Trop Anim Health Prod. 2009 Apr;41(4):645-53. doi: 10.1007/s11250-008-9236-0. Epub 2008 Sep 23.


An experiment was conducted on 30 male Nellore lambs with average body weight (BW) of 15.45 +/- 0.06 kg to determine the level of the copper (Cu) supplementation in diet from inorganic and organic sources required for optimum immunity and its effect on copper dependent enzymes by allotting them randomly to five groups in completely randomized design. The dietary treatments were viz., basal diet (no Cu supplementation, BD), other four groups were offered BD supplemented with 7 or 14 ppm Cu from copper sulphate (CuSO(4)) and Cu-proteinate, respectively. The lambs were fed the respective diets at 3.5 per cent BW to meet the requirements except Cu for 180 days. The humoral immune response against Brucella abortus and chicken RBC was assessed after 90 days of feeding. The in vivo delayed type hyper sensitivity reaction against PHA-P and in vitro lymphocyte proliferation against Con A indicative of cell mediated immune response (CMI) was assayed at 180 days of feeding. At the end of experiment four lambs from each group were slaughtered for estimation of liver superoxide dismutase activity (SOD). The ceruloplasmin and RBC-SOD activities were higher (P < 0.05) in 14 ppm Cu supplemented lambs from Cu-proteinate at 90 and 180 days, while the liver SOD activity was higher (P < 0.05) in lambs fed 14 ppm Cu from CuSO(4). The STAT titres against B. abortus were higher in Cu supplemented lambs, with no effect of dose of supplementation. Lambs supplemented with Cu-proteinate had higher titers than CuSO(4) on 7 and 14 days of post sensitization. The total immunoglobulin concentration and the CMI response against PHA-P and Con-A was higher (P < 0.05) in lambs fed 14 ppm Cu-proteinae diet. The IgM level was though high in Cu supplemented lambs, no dose or source effect were observed. The study indicated that Cu dependent enzymes activity and immune response were highest and respond better against stress in lambs on 14 ppm supplemented Cu from Cu-proteinate.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ceruloplasmin / metabolism
  • Copper / administration & dosage*
  • Copper / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Enzymes
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Sheep / growth & development*
  • Sheep / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Enzymes
  • Copper
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Ceruloplasmin