ABSTRACT: Steel manufacturing is responsible for the emission of pollutants, including dioxins and transition metals, inducing reactive oxygen species generation and DNA damage. Dioxin pollution represents the major cause of milk and dairy product contamination, in Italy, and is associated with oxidative stress-related processes, that may impair health and performance of cows. We evaluated the effect of exposure to different concentrations of pollutants derived from steel manufacturing on blood redox homeostasis of bovine cows. We analyzed two groups of dairy cows (A, B), reared in two different polluted areas, and a control group of cows bred in an industry free area. The extent of exposure to contaminants was defined by measuring dioxin level in bulk milk samples collected from animals of each farm. This level was lower in milk of group A than in group B. Plasma concentrations of retinol, alpha-tocopherol and ascorbate, the total antioxidant capacity, and the activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase were higher in control group than in exposed groups. In particular, retinol and tocopherol levels were higher in the group with lower milk dioxin level. Plasma titers of protein-bound carbonyls (PC), nitro-tyrosine, and hydroperoxides were lower in control group than in A or B. Hydroperoxides and PC plasma concentrations were increased in the group with higher milk concentration of dioxin. Our results demonstrate that, irrespective of the nature of chemicals inducing oxidative modifications, the extent of damage to plasma protein and lipid, is correlated with the concentration of dioxin in milk. So, the characterization of blood redox status might be a useful tool for identifying animals exposed to environmental pollutants. Plasma concentrations of retinol, alpha-tocopherol, PC and hydroperoxides could therefore represent good indices of the extent of animal exposure, as they significantly change in groups with different milk concentrations of dioxin.
Science of The Total Environment 07/2012; 433:450-5. · 3.29 Impact Factor