Acta Vet. Brno 2014, 83: 299-304

Oxidative stress and liver damage in birds exposed to diclofenac and lead

Jitka Osičková1, Hana Banďouchová1, Veronika Kováčová1, Jiří Král1, Ladislav Novotný2, Karel Ondráček1, Miroslav Pohanka3, Jana Sedláčková1, Hana Škochová1, František Vitula1, Jiří Pikula1

1University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, Department of Ecology and Diseases of Game, Fish and Bees, Brno, Czech Republic
2University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Pathological Morphology and Parasitology, Brno, Czech Republic
3University of Defence, Faculty of Military Health Sciences, Hradec Králové, Czech Republic

Responses of wildlife to multiple stressors fit in the ecological concept of trade-off. While toxicity of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and heavy metals for free-ranging birds has been shown in single exposures, the present study aims to evaluate oxidative stress, and liver and kidney damage caused by single and combined effects of diclofenac and lead in the Japanese quail. Forty Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) were divided into equal groups of controls, diclofenac, Pb, and Pb+diclofenac exposures. The birds were exposed to the respective chemicals through insertion of lead shots (1.5 g) into the crop on day 0 of the experiment and/or administration of 5 mg/kg of diclofenac intramuscularly in two treatments on days 0 and 5. Groups in liver and kidney tissues of birds were then compared after 10 days using histopathology and biochemistry markers such as glutathione reductase (GR), ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), and lipid peroxidation measured as total thiobarbituric acid reactive species (TBARS). The liver damage score gradient was Pb+diclofenac exposure group > Pb exposure group > diclofenac exposure group and hepatic TBARS values were significantly increased in the group of birds exposed to a combination of diclofenac and lead compared to the healthy control group. The study has shown that, apart from the reported nephrotoxicity of diclofenac, hepatic toxicity should also be considered. Avian clinicians should be cautious when selecting drugs for therapy of wild birds with unknown history of exposure to toxic substances.


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