Teratogenic Effects of Copper Deficiency and Excess

  • Carl L. Keen
  • Bo Lönnerdal
  • Lucille S. Hurley
Part of the Experimental Biology and Medicine book series (EBAM, volume 2)


The presence of Cu in animal tissues was recognized during the 19th century, but its essentiality as a nutrient in the diet of mammals was not reported until 1928 by Hart and his associates1. The importance of Cu in prenatal development was recognized from studies on the disease “enzootic ataxia” in newborn lambs. This disorder is characterized by spastic paralysis, incoordination of movement, probably due to reduced myelination of the CNS, and anemia. Affected animals usually die within a short time after birth2. Copper supplementation of the ewe during pregnancy prevented the disorder.


Maternal Plasma Teratogenic Effect Copper Deficiency Cytochrome Oxidase Activity Newborn Lamb 
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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc. 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl L. Keen
    • 1
  • Bo Lönnerdal
    • 1
  • Lucille S. Hurley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NutritionUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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