The Zinc Content of Bile and Pancreatic Juice in Zinc-Deficient Swine

J. F. Sullivan, R. V. Williams, J. Wisecarver, K. Etzel, M. M. Jetton, D. F. Magee

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22 Scopus citations


The content of zinc, magnesium, calcium, bilirubin, and bile acids was determined in the hepatic bile of zinc-deficient and control swine. Zinc deficiency was produced by dietary zinc restriction while pair fed zinc supplemented animals served as controls for observations of hepatobiliary functions. Pigs weighing 5 kg were placed in two groups and fed the respective diets for 6 weeks; hair and skin abnormalities as well as decreased weight gain were present in the zinc-deficient group by this time. Hepatic bile and pancreatic juice were obtained from each animal after careful isolation and cannulation of the pancreatic and bile ducts. Animals were studied for a 3-hr period while under constant secretin stimulation and chloralose anesthesia. During this period, there was a progressive decrease in the biliary concentrations of bilirubin, bile acids, and magnesium in the bile of both groups, while zinc and calcium levels were not altered. The zinc concentrations in pancreatic juice were reduced in the zinc-deficient animals. The zinc content of the serum, liver, kidney, and pancreas was also decreased in this group. The calcium and magnesium content of the serum and organs was similar in the two groups with the exception of decreased magnesium in the kidney of the zinc-deficient pigs. Low content of zinc in the liver and serum of the deficient animals was associated with a zinc concentration in the bile comparable to the control group; however, the relative content of zinc in pancreatic secretion and bile was found to be altered in zinc deficiency. In control animals 60% of the zinc is in the pancreatic secretion and 40% in the bile. These percentages are reversed in zinc-deficient animals in which 60% of the zinc is derived from the bile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-43
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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