Author(s): Stevanović Jelka, Kovačević-Filipović Milica, Vlaški Marija, Popović Dragana, Borozan Sunčica, Jović S, Božić Tatjana
Keywords:cows, depleted uranium (DU), oxidative stress, environment, peripheral blood, RBC SOD, RBC MDA.
The paper presents results of the study on depleted uranium (DU) health effects on cows bred in areas exposed to DU ammunition, during NATO bombing of Serbia and Montenegro in 1999. The samples of animal blood, soils and feed were collected randomly in the region of Bujanovac, in 2003. Complete blood cells count was performed according to standard laboratory procedures. Concentration of red blood cells malondialdehyde (RBC MDA) and erythrocyte superoxid dismutase (SOD) activity were determined spectrophotometrically. The functional activity of leukocytes was investigated by NBT reduction and adhesion test. Activity of the radionuclides was determined by standard gamma spectrometry. The obtained results of complete red blood cells count indicate normocytic normochromic anaemia. Considerably increased RBC MDA concentration suggests a violent oxidative stress in cows bred in the exposed area, although the activity of their RBC antioxidant enzyme SOD was in the range of values obtained in the control group. The total number of leukocytes and the differential leukocyte counts were within the physiological range. NBT reduction test revealed the absence of leukocyte oxidative burst, which pointed to the absence of inflammation. A significant decrease of granulocyte adhesiveness, pointed at partial impairment of granulocyte functional activity. The activity of 238U/235U in soils and feed was below the minimal detectable concentration (10-3 Bq/kg), while the content of natural (226Ra and 232Th) and anthropogenic (137Cs) radionuclides in soils were within the average values for the region, except for low levels of 40K - indicating soils impoverishment in potassium.
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