• Superoxide Dismutase Activity within Caribou Serum as an Indicator of Copper Status

      Pauling, Cassandra (2012)
      Copper concentrations measured in liver are the gold standard for evaluating the copper status of ruminants. For live ruminants, measuring copper status is problematic because serum copper concentrations fluctuate and are not consistently correlated to liver copper values. In an attempt to establish an accurate evaluation of copper status from serum in caribou, we examined the correlation between liver copper concentrations and superoxide dismutase (SOD), which uses the oxidation and reduction reactions of a bound copper ion in order to catalyze superoxide radicals. Our study focuses on SOD activity in the serum of 16 individual adult female caribou and compares that to known copper levels within the liver. Determining copper levels in ruminants has proven difficult and currently a true proxy to determine liver copper levels in a live animal is unknown.