The The influence of high doses of α-tocopherol on the content of selected trace elements in the liver of developing chicken embryos in experimentally induced 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin intoxication

  • Piotr Kuropka Department of Histology and Embriology, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wrocław, Poland
  • Maciej Dobrzynski Department of Conservative Dentistry and Pedodontics, Wroclaw Medical University, Wrocław, Poland
  • Malgorzata Tarnowska Department of Nervous System Diseases, Wroclaw Medical University, Wrocław, Poland
  • Marzena Styczynska Department of Human Nutrition, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Science, Wrocław, Poland
  • Krzysztof Dudek Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Wroclaw, Wrocław, Poland
  • Anna Leskow Department of Nervous System Diseases, Wroclaw Medical University, wrocław, Poland
  • Rafał J. Wiglusz Institute of Low Temperature and Structure Research, Polish Academy of Sciences in Wroclaw, Wrocław, Poland


A chicken embryo develops in ovo without access to a constant circulating maternal nutrient supply, and therefore all necessary nutrients are initially stored in the yolk, and with progressive development are transferred to the liver, where they are taken up in response to various needs. Fluctuations in hepatic trace elements correlate with their mobilization from egg stores. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) intoxication causes liver damage by production of free radicals, while α-tocopherol is a well-known antioxidant and may play a protective role. In the experiment presented here, a solution containing only TCDD, TCDD and α-tocopherol, as well as α-tocopherol exclusively, was administrated into the yolk sac. The iron, zinc, copper and magnesium distribution was evaluated using histological and chemical methods. It has been found that α-tocopherol has no influence on magnesium and zinc content in the liver. The observed increase in iron content may be caused by antagonistic action of iron and α-tocopherol. On the other hand, synergistic action of α-tocopherol and TCDD has been noted with respect to the copper content.