Functionality and DNA-damage properties of blood cells in lactating cows exposed to glyphosate contaminated feed at different feed energy levels
Glyphosate (GL) inhibits the aromatic amino acid biosynthesis in plants and is worldwide the most used non-selective herbicide. Less is known about in vivo effects of GL contaminated feedstuffs on the health of dairy cows. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of GL residues in feed at different concentrate feed proportions (CFP) on haematology, immunological and redox parameters and on DNA-damage of blood cells in lactating dairy cows. During a 16-trial, 61 German Holstein cows (207 ± 49 d in milk; mean ± SD) were fed the same ration in week 0. Afterwards, they were assigned to either a group receiving a GL contaminated or a group receiving an uncontaminated total mixed ration (CON). Each group was subdivided into a “low concentrate” group (LC) and a “high concentrate” group (HC) with an energy content of 6.63 MJ NEL and 7.18 MJ NEL/kg dry matter, respectively. The diets were offered for ad libitum consumption. Blood samples were taken at weeks 0, 4, 8, 12 and 16. All blood samples were analysed for white and red blood cell counts. T-cell subpopulations, oxidative burst capability of leukocytes, apoptosis rate, phagocytic activity, activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase, the total non-enzymatic antioxidative capacity, viability and stimulation capacity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and micronucleus- and comet assay on bovine leukocytes were measured only in week 16. The average individual GL intake of groups CON, GLLC and GLHC was 1.2 µg, 112.6 µg and 132.8 µg per kg body weight and day, respectively. GL contamination did not affect any of the tested parameters whereas CFP and time-influenced leukocytes, granulocytes, red blood cells, haemoglobin, haematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular haemoglobin and CD4+ T-cells in an interactive manner characterised by a time-dependent increase in HC groups. It can be concluded that GL and GL in combination with different CFP showed no influence on any of the tested endpoints, whereas CFP and time influenced most parameters in an interactive manner.