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Effects of dietary selenium supplementation on tissue selenium distribution and glutathione peroxidase activity in Chinese Ring Necked Pheasants

  • D. T. Juniper (a1) and G. Bertin (a2)


The objective of this study was to determine the concentration of total selenium (Se) and the proportions of total Se comprised as selenomethionine (SeMet) and selenocysteine (SeCys) in the postmortem tissues of female pheasants (Phasianus Colchicus Torquator) offered diets that contained graded additions of selenised-enriched yeast (SY) or a single comparative dose of sodium selenite (SS). Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and tissue glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity of breast (Pectoralis Major) were assessed at 0 and 5 days postmortem. A total of 216 female pheasant chicks were enrolled into the study. Twenty-four birds were euthanased at the start of the study, and samples of blood, breast muscle, leg muscle (M. Peroneus Longus and M. Gastrocnemius), heart, liver, kidney and gizzard were collected for determination of total Se. Remaining birds were blocked by live weight and randomly allocated to one of four dietary treatments (n = 48 birds/treatment) that either differed in Se source (SY v. SS) or dose (control (0.17 mg total Se/kg), SY-L and SS-L (0.3 mg/kg total Se as SY and SS, respectively) and SY-H (0.45 mg total Se/kg)). Following 42 and 91 days of treatment, 24 birds per treatment were euthanased, and samples of blood, breast muscle, leg muscle, heart, liver, kidney and gizzard were retained for determination of total Se and the proportion of total Se comprised as SeMet or SeCys. Whole blood GSH-Px activity was determined at each time point. Tissue GSH-Px activity and TBARS were determined in breast tissue at the end of the study. There were increases in both blood and tissues to the graded addition of SY to the diet (P < 0.001), but the same responses were not apparent with the blood and tissues of selenite-supplemented birds receiving a comparable dose (SY-L v. SS-L). Although there were differences between tissue types in the distribution of SeMet and SeCys, there were few differences between treatments. There were effects of treatment on erythrocyte GSH-Px activity (P = 0.012) with values being higher in treatments SY-H and SS-L when compared with the negative control and treatment SY-L. There were no effects of treatment on tissue GSH-Px activity, which is reflected in the overall lack of any treatment effects on TBARS.


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