Tel.+49 30 838 62450 Fax.+49 30 838 62522
The concentrations of specific elements in the equine liver and kidneys are of practical relevance since horses are not only food-producing animals, but also partially serve as an indicator for the environmental pollution, as the basic feed includes plants like grass, grain and fruits. In this study, the concentrations of strontium (Sr), barium (Ba), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), chromium (Cr), antimony (Sb), selenium (Se) and lead (Pb) were measured in the liver, renal cortex and renal medulla of 21 horses (8 male; 13 female; aged between 5 months-28 years), using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Comparable Cu and Zn concentrations were detected in the liver and renal cortex, while approximately 50% lower concentrations were measured in the renal medulla. The lowest Sr, Cd and Se, but the highest Mn, Sb and Pb concentrations were measured in the liver. The Ba concentrations were comparable in the renal cortex and medulla, but lower in the liver of the horses. Gender-related differences were observed for Cd, Mn and Cr, with higher Cd concentrations in the liver, but lower Mn concentrations in the renal cortex and lower Cr concentrations in the renal medulla of female horses. Age-related differences were detected for most measured elements, however, the animal number per age-group was only low. In conclusion, the present study provides important reference data for the storage of Sr, Ba, Cd, Cu, Zn, Mn, Cr, Sb, Se and Pb in the liver and kidneys of horses, which are of practical relevance for an evaluation of the exposure of horses to these elements, either via feed or the environment.