The effect of erythrocyte glutathione status and breed on the susceptibility of adult female sheep to the haemolytic anaemia caused by the brassica anti-metabolite dimethyl disulphide (DMDS) was determined in a factorial experiment. Within each breed (Scottish Blackface or Finnish Landrace), six sheep of low glutathione status (<30 mg/100 ml red blood cells (RBC)) and six sheep of high glutathione status (>70 mg/100 ml RBC) were dosed twice daily with DMDS for 35 days (25 mmol per head per day). All sheep developed a classic haemolytic anaemia within 2 weeks of the start of DMDS dosing. Weekly haemoglobin concentrations and packed cell volume values were not affected by breed or glutathione status. Heinz body numbers rose to a higher maximum in low glutathione animals but were not affected by breed. The results call into question the relationship between total erythrocyte glutathione concentration and the resistance of erythrocytes to oxidative damage.
- haemolytic anaemia
- Heinz bodies