Effect of tetracycline administration on serum amylase activity in calves
Zendehbad et al. SpringerPlus 2013, 2:330http://www.springerplus.com/content/2/1/330
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Effect of tetracycline administration on serumamylase activity in calves
Bamdad Zendehbad1*, Adeleh Alipour2 and Hussein Zendehbad3
Tetracycline and related compounds are used extensively as broad spectrum antibiotics in the treatment ofbacterial infections in ruminants. Tetracycline may cause acute pancreatitis which may result in increased serumamylase activity. However, it has been shown that administration of oxytetracycline in human results in decreaseserum amylase activity. In this study changes in serum amylase activity were measured in 20 clinically healthy calvesfollowing intravenous injection of oxytetracycline hydrochloride at 10 mg/kg of body weight. Blood samples werecollected at 30, 60, and 120 minutes after oxytetracycline injection. Serum amylase activity was measured using theamyloclastic assay. The activity of serum amylase was increased significantly (P < 0.05) at 30 (40.5%), 60 (35.1%), and120 (39.3%) minutes after oxytetracycline hydrochloride administration. To the authors’ knowledge this is the firststudy on the acute effect of tetracycline administration on serum amylase activity in calves.
Tetracycline and related compounds are used exten-
Amylase is a cytoplasmic enzyme that catalyzes the hy-
sively as broad spectrum antibiotics in the treatment of
drolysis of complex starches (Stockham and Scott ).
bacterial infections in ruminants. Several studies have
Acute pancreatitis is the most common cause of increased
shown that tetracycline may cause acute pancreatitis in
serum amylase activity (hyperamylasemia) and therefore,
human (Nicolau et al. Bernejee et al. Torosis
serum amylase measurement is commonly used as a diag-
and Vender Elmore and Rogge Bourke et al.
nostic tool for the diagnosis of acute pancreatitis. Serum
It has also been suggested that oxytetracycline in-
amylase has been in use as a diagnostic enzyme longer
hibits protein synthesis in the pancreatic exocrine
than any other enzymes (Hoffmann and Solter .
(Fleischer Fleischer and specifically amylase
Several isoenzymes of amylase have been identified in
synthesis and secretion (Tucker and Webster
cattle (Gebicke-Härter and Geldermann The isoen-
Tetracyclines are commonly used in cattle; however,
zymes are found in a wide variety of tissues (Gebicke-
the effect of tetracycline administration on serum amyl-
Härter and Geldermann . Pancreatic amylase activity
ase activity in cattle is unknown. The purpose of this
in bovine is known to be very slow in vivo (Kay Karr
study was to assess changes in serum amylase activity
et al. , probably due to special digestive conditions in
following administration of oxytetracycline to clinically
the ruminant; however, it is very active in the newborn calf
(Siddons ). In contrary to human, bovine do not havesalivary α-amylase (Stockham and Scott ). Amylase isalso produced in the small intestines and liver (Hoffmann
and Solter . Intestinal amylase has not been shown
A total of 20 clinically healthy Holstein calves (2–4
to increase total serum amylase activity (Stockham and
months old) were randomly selected from a commer-
cial dairy herd in Mashhad, Iran. Health records weremaintained on all calves by the dairymen and observa-tions relating to disease were made by a production
1Department of Physiology, Faculty of Specialized Veterinary Science,
Blood samples were collected before administration of
Research and Science Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, IranFull list of author information is available at the end of the article
oxytetracycline (predose T0). Oxytetracycline hydrochloride
2013 Zendehbad et al.; licensee Springer. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the CreativeCommons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, andreproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Zendehbad et al. SpringerPlus 2013, 2:330
Table 1 Serum amylase activity before and after
Fisher’s exact two-tailed test analysis was performed and
intravenous administration of oxytetracycline
differences were considered significant at values of P < 0.05.
hydrochloride in 15 clinically healthy Holstein calves
The present study was approved and conducted in ac-
cordance with the recommendations of the Animal Care
and Use Ethics Committee of the College of Veterinary
Medicine, Islamic Azad University-Shahrekord Branch.
The mean and standard deviation (SD) of serum amylase
activity in 15 calves measured at 30, 60, and 120 min
*Data presented as mean ± standard deviation (SD).
after oxytetracycline injection are presented in Table
Values with no common superscript are significantly different (P < 0.05).
and Figure In this study, the activity of serum amylase
(10%; Razak Lab, Tehran, Iran) was intravenously adminis-
was significantly (P < 0.05) increased in all animals at 30
tered at 10 mg/kg of body weight. Then, blood samples
(40.5%), 60 (35.1%), and 120 (39.3%) minutes after oxy-
were collected at 30, 60, and 120 min after oxytetracycline
tetracycline hydrochloride administration. No statisti-
injection. Blood was drawn directly to the serum clot tube
cally significant differences were present in serum
using a single jugular venepuncture and a Vacutainer nee-
amylase activity measured at 30, 60, and 120 min after
dle. The samples were immediately transported to the Clin-
oxytetracycline hydrochloride administration.
ical Pathology laboratory in a cooler with ice packs andwere processed within an hour of blood collection. The
samples were centrifuged at 2000 g for 20 min at 4 C, and
Tetracyclines are broad-spectrum antibiotics, widely used
serum was stored at −20°C until analysis. Five samples with
for both prevention and treatment of bacterial infections.
visual hemolysis were excluded from the study. No clinical
In cattle they are also used for growth promotion. Tetracy-
signs of adverse effects were noted during the experiment
clines have long been implicated as a causative agent in
and the calves were returned to their home pens.
acute pancreatitis (Badalov et al. Forsmark and
Serum amylase activity was measured using the amy-
Baillie ; Nicolau et al. Torosis and Vender
loclastic assay as described previously (Stockham and
Elmore and Rogge ; Mallory and Kern ). In-
Scott ). An automated chemistry analyzer (VITALAB
creased serum amylase activity is used as a reliable bio-
Selectra 2, Merck, Germany) and a commercially available
marker for the diagnosis of acute pancreatitis. However,
kit (Pars-Azmoon Co., Iran) were used to measure amyl-
several studies have shown that administration of oxyte-
ase activity. All serum samples were tested in duplicate.
tracycline in human results in decrease serum amylase ac-
For statistical analysis, data were transferred to a
tivity (Fleischer Lorenzo et al. have reported
Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (Microsoft Corp., Redmond,
that treatment with oxytetracycline results in low amylase
WA, USA). Using SPSS 16.0 statistical software (SPSS
activity in pancreatic tissue and duodenal fluids. In vitro
Inc., Chicago, IL, USA), a Pearson chi-square test and
studies have shown that tetracycline has a substantial alpha
Figure 1 Serum amylase activity before (T0) and at 30 (T1), 60 (T2), and 120 (T3) minutes after intravenous administration ofoxytetracycline hydrochloride in 15 clinically healthy Holstein calves.
Zendehbad et al. SpringerPlus 2013, 2:330
amylase inhibitory activity in a dose dependent fashion
Received: 19 November 2012 Accepted: 16 July 2013
(Hamdan II et al. In a recent study in rats, it has
been shown that the content of amylase in pancreas signifi-
cantly decreases in the animals given 50 or 200 mg kg(−1)
Asha KK, Sankar TV, Viswanathan Nair PG (2007) Effect of tetracycline on pancreas
and liver function of adult male albino rats. J Pharm Pharmacol59:1241–1248
An amylase level more than three times above upper
Badalov N, Baradarian R, Iswara K, Li J, Steinberg W, Tenner S (2007)
reference interval is highly specific for pancreatitis
Drug-induced acute pancreatitis: an evidence-based review. Clin
(Cappell In this study amylase activity was mildly
Bernejee AK, Patel KJ, Grainger SL (1989) Drug-induced acute pancreatitis. Med
to moderately increased (up to 40.5%) after administra-
tion of oxytetracycline hydrochloride. It has been shown
Bourke JB, Mead GM, McIllmurray MB, Longman MJS (1978) Drug-associated
that drug-induced pancreatitis tends to be mild and self
primary acute pancreatitis. Lancet 1:706–708
Burrows GE, Barto PB, Martin B (1987) Comparative pharmacokinetics of
limited (Cappell Serum amylase level increases
gentamicin, neomycin and oxytetracycline in newborn calves. J Vet
from leakage from the inflamed pancreas into the blood-
stream. Amylase is believed to rise within the first hours
Cappell MS (2008) Acute pancreatitis: etiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis,
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Clavien PA, Robert J, Meyer P, Borst F, Hauser H, Herrmann F, Dunand V, Rohner
A (1989) Acute pancreatitis and normoamylasemia. Not an uncommon
In the present study oxytetracycline hydrochloride was
Elmore MF, Rogge JD (1981) Tetracycline-induced pancreatitis. Gastroenterology
intravenously administered at 10 mg/kg of body weight.
The half-life of elimination of oxytetracycline adminis-
Fleischer K (1976) Exocrine pancreatic function in man after treatment with
tered at this dosage in calves has been reported to be 6.4 ±
oxytetracycline and chloramphenicol. Digestion 14:108–116
Fleischer K (1974) Effect of oxytetracycline and chloramphenicol on the exocrine
1.3 hour at 6 weeks of age (Burrows et al. ). Oxytetra-
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cycline is mostly excreted by the kidney (85-86%) and
Forsmark CE, Baillie J (2007) AGA Institute clinical practice and economics
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committee: AGA Institute technical review on acute pancreatitis.
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In conclusion, the results of this study showed that
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serum amylase activity was significantly (P < 0.05) in-
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To the authors’ knowledge this is the first study on the
acute effect of tetracycline administration on serum
Nicolau DP, Megedoht DE, Kline JJ (1991) Tetracycline-induced pancreatitis.
amylase activity in calves. Further studies will be re-
Nouws JF, Vree TB, Termond E, Lohuis J, van Lith P, Binkhorst GJ, Breukink HJ
quired to confirm the preliminary observations of the
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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Stockham SL, Scott MA (2008) Enzymes. In: Stockham SL, Scott MA (eds)
Fundamentals of veterinary clinical pathology, 2nd edn. Blackwell, Ames, IA,p 663
Torosis J, Vender R (1987) Tetracycline-induced pancreatitis. J Clin Gastroenterol
BZ carried out the blood sampling and analysis and drafted the manuscript.
AA carried out the statistical analysis. HZ participated in writing the
Tucker PC, Webster PD (1972) Effects of tetracycline on pancreatic protein
manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
synthesis and secretion in pigeons. Am J Dig Dis 17:675–682
The authors would like to thank Drs. Hajhameshi and Ameri for their
Cite this article as: Zendehbad et al.: Effect of tetracycline
valuable contribution to this study.
administration on serum amylase activity in calves. SpringerPlus2013 2:330.
Author details1Department of Physiology, Faculty of Specialized Veterinary Science,Research and Science Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.
2Department of Statistic, Faculty of Sciences, Islamic Azad University-Mashhad Branch, Mashhad, Iran. 3Department of Biotechnology, Indianacademy, centre for research & post graduate studies, Bangalore, India.
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