Effects of dexamethasone on liver enzymes and some serum electrolytes in pregnant Yankasa Sheep and Sahel Goat
Dexamethasone is usually prescribed concomitantly with other medications as anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agent and for management of respiratory distress syndrome. Concomitant usage of dexamethasone and other medications may alter electrolyte metabolism and increase the formation of potentially hepatotoxic reactive metabolites which can contribute to elevated liver enzymes. The role of dexamethasone in liver functions and electrolyte metabolism during pregnancy in Yankasa sheep and Sahel goat has not been determined. This study evaluated the effect of dexamethasone on the liver enzymes and to ascertain its role in electrolyte metabolism during pregnancy in Yankasa sheep and Sahel goat. Twenty four healthy adult animals comprising of 10 Sahel does and 2 bucks and 10 Yankasa ewes and 2 rams were used for this study. Pregnancies were achieved by natural mating after synchronization. Repeated dexamethasone injection was given at 0.25mg/kg body weight on days 1, 3 and 5 during first trimester; day 51, 53 and 55 during second trimester, and day 101, 103 and 105 during the third trimester. Blood samples were collected for sixteen weeks through the jugular vein. Serum samples collected were used for the analysis of Alanine amino transferase (ALT), Aspartate amino-transferase (AST), Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) calcium (Ca2+) Sodium (Na+) and potassium (K+) concentrations. Dexamethasone significantly (P<0.05) decreased AST, ALT, ALP and K+ levels in both species. However, Ca2+, Na+ concentrations remained unchanged. The decreased levels of liver enzymes suggest that dexamethasone possess some hepato-protective properties and no interspecies difference in the liver response and mineral metabolism following dexamethasone treatment during gestation.
Keywords: Dexamethasone, Electrolytes, Liver enzymes, Pregnancy, goat, Sheep