Open Access Research article

Liver and kidney concentrations of strontium, barium, cadmium, copper, zinc, manganese, chromium, antimony, selenium and lead in cats

Nadine Paßlack1*, Barbara Mainzer12, Monika Lahrssen-Wiederholt2, Helmut Schafft2, Richard Palavinskas2, Angele Breithaupt3 and Jürgen Zentek1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Veterinary Medicine, Institute of Animal Nutrition, Freie Universität Berlin, Königin-Luise-Str. 49, 14195 Berlin, Germany

2 Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Max-Dohrn-Str. 8-10, 10589 Berlin, Germany

3 Department of Veterinary Medicine, Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Freie Universität Berlin, Robert-von-Ostertag-Str. 15, 14163 Berlin, Germany

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BMC Veterinary Research 2014, 10:163  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-163

Published: 17 July 2014



In order to provide new knowledge on the storage of strontium (Sr), barium (Ba), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), chromium (Cr), antimony (Sb), selenium (Se) and lead (Pb) in the feline organism, we measured the concentrations of these elements in the liver, renal cortex and renal medulla, evaluating also the impact of age, sex or the occurrence of a chronic kidney disease (CKD). The element concentrations in the tissues of 47 cats (22 male; 25 female; aged between 2 months and 18 years) were measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.


Cu, Zn and Mn were the highest in the liver, followed by the renal cortex and the renal medulla. The Cd concentrations were lower in the renal medulla compared to the renal cortex and the liver, and Sr was higher in the renal medulla compared to the liver. The Se concentrations in the cortex of the kidneys were higher than in the medulla of the kidneys and in the liver. Higher Cd concentrations were measured in the renal cortex of female cats, while no further gender-related differences were observed. Except for Cr, Sb and Se, age-dependencies were detected for the storage of all elements. The occurrence of a CKD also affected the storage of the elements, with lower concentrations of Ba (renal medulla), Zn (renal cortex; renal medulla) and Mn (liver; renal medulla), but higher Cd concentrations (liver; renal cortex) in diseased cats.


In conclusion, the present results provide new information on the accumulation of specific elements in the feline liver and kidneys, demonstrating a dependency on age and an impaired kidney function, but not on the sex of the animals.

Cats; Elements; Liver; Renal cortex/medulla; Age; Sex; Chronic kidney disease