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Arsenic and copper, two toxic pollutants, are powerful inducers of oxidative stress. Exposure to copper and arsenic can cause intestinal injury in cockerel. This study was carried out to investigate the effects of these two pollutants on the gastrointestinal tract of cockerels. Experimental results showed that the activity of antioxidant enzymes (catalase and glutathione peroxidase) was inhibited and the ionic balance was destroyed after exposure to copper sulfate (300 mg/kg) and/or arsenic trioxide (30 mg/kg). However, the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (nuclear factor kappa-B, cyclooxygenase-2, tumor necrosis factor-α, and prostaglandin E2 synthases) increased markedly. Damages to the biofilm structure and inflammatory cell infiltration were simultaneously observed during histological examination. Heat-shock proteins were also expressed in large quantities after exposure to the poisons. Collectively, exposure to arsenite and/or Cu2+ can cause rectal damage in cockerels, inducing inflammation and an imbalance in immune system responses. Sometimes, exposure to both pollutants can produce even more toxic effects. Heat-shock proteins can protect the tissue from the exotoxins but the specific mechanisms require exploration. After oral ingestion of toxins, the rectum can still be damaged, necessitating attention to the safety of poultry breeding, human food safety, and environmental protection.


Xin Yang, Hongjing Zhao, Yu Wang, Juanjuan Liu, Menghao Guo, Dongxue Fei, Mengyao Mu, Mingwei Xing. The Activation of Heat-Shock Protein After Copper(II) and/or Arsenic(III)-Induced Imbalance of Homeostasis, Inflammatory Response in Chicken Rectum. Biological trace element research. 2020 Jun;195(2):613-623

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PMID: 31473897

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