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Free Content Effect of Endophyte-infected Diets on Selected Blood Parameters and the Histopathological Picture of the Kidney and Liver of Lambs

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The aim of the study was to find out if the presence of endophytic fungi and thus of the alkaloid ergovaline in feed affects blood plasma parameters and the histological picture of the kidney and liver of reared lambs. Sixteen growing lambs were divided into 2 groups: control (K) and experimental (D). Animals were fed with meadow hay (0.4 kg), concentrate feed (0.4 kg) and silages (2 kg). Group K received silage from endophyte-free fescue forage while group D received silage from fescue infected with the endophyte fungus Neotyphodium uncinatum (high level of seed infection – 52%, and forage infection – 47%). Blood was taken from the lambs three times (at the start, on the 45th day and at the end of the study – on 79th day) to determine the levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AspAT), alanine aminotransferase (ALAT), creatinine, triglycerides, cholesterol and bilirubin. Kidney and liver samples were taken from each animal postmortem. H+E staining was performed in order to disclose histopathological changes in the interstitial tissue of the kidneys and renal corpuscles. The degree of fatty liver was determined using Oil Red staining. Feeding silages from endophyte-infected meadow fescue forages did not have a clear effect on the plasma parameters of growing lambs. The levels of AspAT and triglycerides were high but did not exceed the upper permissible limit. In the group of animals receiving endophyte-infected silage, the degree of fatty liver was slightly higher with more histopathological changes in the interstitial tissue and renal corpuscles than in the animals fed with endophyte-free diets.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2005-10-01

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  • Folia biologica is an international quarterly journal that publishes papers on the broad field of experimental zoology, nuclear and chromosome research, and also ultrastructural studies. All papers are subject to peer reviews. Indexed in: ISI Master Journal List, Current Contents, Polish Scientific Journals Contents. I.F. 0.667
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