Ethane Production in Copper-deficient Rats

Jack T. Saari, Frank D. Dickerson, Michael P. Habib

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Scopus citations


    Evidence is accumulating which indicates that copper-deficient animals are prone to oxidative damage. To investigate this possibility further, we measured the production of breath ethane, a hydrocarbon by-product of lipid peroxidation, in copper-deficient rats. Male, weanling Sprague-Dawley rats were fed either a purified diet which was deficient in copper (CuD) or the same diet made sufficient with 5 ppm of copper (CuS). After 33 to 34 days the rats were placed individually in gastight metabolic cages through which ethane-free air or 100% O2 was passed. Expired ethane was absorbed onto cold, activated charcoal, liberated by heating, and measured by gas chromatography. Ethane production rates (pmoles/min/100 g ± SD) were 3.3 ± 0.8 (CuS-air), 4.3 ± 1.4 (CuD-air), 8.3 ± 2.5 (CuS-O2), and 12.2 ± 4.3 (CuD-O2). Repeated measures analysis of variance indicated that both copper deficiency (P < 0.01) and breathing 100% O2 (P < 0.0001) enhanced ethane production, with no interaction between treatments. This finding complements previous evidence that increased lipid peroxidation occurs in copper-deficient rats.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)30-33
    Number of pages4
    JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Oct 1990

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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