HAEMATOLOGICAL AND BLOOD BIOCHEMICAL
STUDIES IN FEMALE DOMESTICATED INDIAN
ELEPHANTS (ELAPHAS MAXIMUS L.)
JOANNA GROMADZKA-OSTROWSKA*, KRYSTYNA JAKUBÓW*, BARBARA ZALEWSKA*
and ZBIGNIEW KRZYWICKI (+)
*Physiological Laboratory, Warsaw Zoological Garden, 03-461 Warsaw, Ratuszowa 1/3. Poland and
(+) Veterinary Policlinic Circus Base, Julinek, Warsaw, Poland
(Receiced 4 March 1986)
Abstract-L Some haernatological and biochemical bJood pararneters in female Indian elcpharns we re
2. Haematological data were as follows: Ht = 39.2 ± 2.36%, Hb = lO. l .L 0.54 g%, RBC = 2.66.I
0.32 x JO·/mm~, WBC = 5.43 ± 0.48 x 10)jmm'. Lyrnphocytes, determined on blood smears wcre mainly leucocyres from (67.0:r: 1.59%). Data for MCV, MCH and MCHC are also given.
3. BIood plasma was separated into 5 main fractions, total plasma protein eoncentrarion wat,
6.98 ± 0.53 g%, A/G ratio was 0.69 ± 0.1.
4. Plasrna mineraIs conceniration was as follows: Na, 3044 ± 194 Jlgjml; K, 529.t 38.5 J1!~imI; Mg,
33.0 ± 3.43 ~g/ml; Ca, 181.0 ± 17.8 J.LgJml; InP. 44.6 ± 6.1 lig/mI. Ca:P rano 'was 3.25 ± 0.34.
5. Some seasonal differences in investigated parameters were observed. Hl values, WBC and neutrophiłs num ber as well as Ca, and Mg concentrations were higher during winter. whercas RBC and Na and lnP concentrations were lower in winiec.
Studies we re carried out on 10 adult fernale Indian elephants from circuses and zoos. Blood sampies were obtained by needle and syringe from a vein or artery on the underside of the ear twice during rhe year: in June and December. Haematological parameters [red (RBC) and white (WBC) blood eell count, hacmatoerit value (Ht), haemaglobin eoncentrarion (H b), different leucocytes form count] were detennined by standard methods. Mean corpuscular volume (MCV), rnean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) and rnean corpuseular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) were also caleulated. Blood plasma was separared by centrifugation and then was frozen irnmediately and stored at – 20″C until assayed. Total protein plasrna concentration was determined by the metbod of Lowry et al. (1951). Plasma proteins were separared by paper eleetrophoresis with veronal buffer (pH = 9.0, ionie strength 0.1) (Dżulynska er al., 1964). Relative and unrelative pIasrna protein fraction concentrations were counted. Total plasma concentrations of magnesium, ealeium, potassium and sodium were determined by the method of atomie absorption spectrophotometry (ASA) according to Goźliński and Lewandowski (1976). Inorganic phosphorus concentration was deterrnined by the colorimetric rnethod aceording to Fiske and Subbarow (1925). For all investigated pararneters means and their standard errors and eoefficients of variation were calculated. Obtained haernatological data are summarized in the Table L In the elcphant the red blood eells are large, possibly larger than in any other mammals. having a mean drameter sJightly greater than 9 !-Im. Parallel 10 large eeJJ size celi count in elcphants tends to be lower (2.66 x IOÓjmm') than in other mammals as was also shown by Altman and Durrner (J 96l), Lewis (1974) and Brown and White (1980). Mean vaJues for haematocrit seem (O be sirnilar to thosc quored for man (Dacie and Lewis, 1968) and for African elephant (Brown and White, 1980) but a little higher than data found by Lewis (1974) in Indian elephants, Other haematologieal parameters such as haemoglobin concentration, MCV, MCH and MCHC are alittle lower than values cited for African elephants as well as for wild Indian elcphants (White and Brown. 1978; Lewis, 1974). White blood celi count in the studing female elephams er al., 1978) and in Indian (Lewis, 1974) elephants. Albumin and two globulin fraction eoncentranons are higher than those observcd by Lewis (1974) while 11′ and l' globulins levels are similar to tbose observed in Indian and African elephants and appears within the nonnal human range. A/G raiio has been shown to be lower than in most other marnmals, which may have an effect on thc viscosity of elephant blood (Usami er al., 1969). Total plasrna protein concentration was at the same range as that observed in wild African elephants (Brown and White, 1980) but is belów Indian elephant range observed by Lewis (1974). Seasonal plasrna protein fraction changes were not observcd. Table 3 shows t he levels of sorne minerais in elephant plasma. The mean calcium eoncentrarion was 181 .ug/ml, distinctly higher than dala obtained for African (Brown and White, 1977) and Indian (Nirmalan and Nair. 1969; Lewis. 1974) elephants. Winter calcium eoncentrarion was significantly higher than in summer (213.0:L 30 flgfml, 148.0 ± l Ll .ug/ml, p ~ 0.05). Inorganic phosphorus level was found lo be a little lower than data cited by Lewis (1974) and lower than va lues obtaincd in African elephants (Brown and White, 1977). Slightly marked seasonal phosphorus eoncentrarion changes with higher level during summer were als o observed. Ca: P ratio was 3.25 ± 0.34 with not statistically significant seasonal variations. Seasonal calcium and phosphorus changes caused changes in dietary and environmental tactors which can affect the intestinal absorption and plasma levels ar both calcium and phosphorus. Plasrna level of magnesium was lower than in previous reports both on Indian (Nirmalan and Nair, 1969) and on Afncan (Brown and Wbite, 1977) elephants with slightly marked seasonal changes: higher level during winter season. This phenornenon has not been observed yet. Sodium level also showcd seasonal varianon bcing alittle higher during summer than during winter. In wild African elephants, Brown and Wbite (I977) observed higher sodium Ievels in the dry scason (between December and February). The reversc seasonal effect was noticed with potassium but in our elephants potassium level did not change according to scason changes. Acknowiedgements=Yue authors are most gratcful to Vet. G. Małeeki from the Zoological Garden in Łódź for blood sampling and 10 Mrs M. Kowalczyk Irom Physico-Chernical Laboratory of Agricultural University in Warsaw for ASA determination. RF.FERENCES Altman P. L. and Dinmer D. S. (1961) B/oud and O/hu Body Fluids. Federation of American Socicties for Experimenlal Biołcgy, Bethesda, Maryland. Brown l. R. F. and White P. T. (1977) Serum calciurn, magnesium phosphorus and alkalinę phosphatase in the African elephant. Comp, Biochem. Phvsiol. 568, 159-162. Brown }. R. F. and White P. T. (1980) Elephant blood haematology and chcrnistry. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 658, 1-12. Brown L R. r., White p, R. and Maipas R. C (1978) Proteins and ower nitrogenous consutuents in. the blood serum of the African elephant. Comp. Biorhem. Phvsiol. 59A, 267-270, Dacie J. V. and Lewis S. M. (1968) Practical Haematology, Churchill. London. Dżułynska J., Krajewska K. and Gill J. (1964) Serum glikoproteins in some species of non-dornesucated mamrnals. Arta Biochem. Pol. 11, 121·-128. Fiske C. A. and Subbarow Y. (1925) The colorimetric determination of phosphorus. 1. biol, Chem. 66, 375 3S0. Gożliński H. and Lewandowski W. (1976) Porównywanie różnych sposobów przygotowania surowicy do oznaczeń niektórych składników mineralnych metoda ASA. Med. vel. 32, 52- 55.
Oryginalna treść artykułu ukazała się w Comp. Biochem. Phvsiol. Vol. 89A. No. 3. pp. 313-315. 1988 Printed in Great Britain