Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 55, Issue 1–2, pp 71–77 | Cite as

Growth characteristics in laboratory animals fed zinc-deficient, Copper-deficient, or histidine-supplemented diets

  • Jacobus P. Van Wouwe
  • Marcel Veldhuizen
Original Articles


The effects of growth in male Wistar rats and female Swiss Random mice were studied during dietary zinc (Zn) deficiency, copper (Cu) deficiency, and during the feeding of a histidine (His) supplement. Growth was analyzed by comparing the characteristics of the decreasing exponential growth curve plotted for the experimental period. When the animals were pair-fed the experimental diets, the growth pattern in the animals remained unaltered. The growth rate decreased during Zn deficiency by a factor of 0.64 over a period of 10 d (male young adult rats) and by a factor of 0.76 over a period of 28 d (female weaning mice). On the other hand, a supplement of His increased the growth rate by a factor of 1.11 (in the mice). The effect of Cu deficiency on the growth rate was not statistically significant (in the rats). However, Cu deficiency causes effects in the Zn status that may over-compensate minor growth retardation during Cu deficiency. The effect of the His supplement is explained by its having an effect on the Zn-absorption (His enhancing Zn transport over the gut) and by a stimulating effect of this amino acid on the thickness of the growth plate in bone.

Index Entries

Zinc deficiency copper deficiency histidine supplement growth pattern growth rate male Wistar rats female Swiss Random mice 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacobus P. Van Wouwe
    • 1
  • Marcel Veldhuizen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsDrechtsteden Hospital “Jacobus”Zwijndrechtthe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Radiochemistry, Interfaculty Reactor InstituteDelft University of TechnologyDelftthe Netherlands

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