Our study was undertaken to assess the application of semiautomated methods available at the reference laboratory level for the evaluation of plasma protein and cholesterol via electrophoresis in samples from cownose rays (Rhinoptera bonasus). Three groups of animals were assessed: clinically normal, clinically abnormal, and parasitized with leeches. As reported previously, the albumin band was negligible; the protein electrophoretograms were dominated by a large beta-globulin fraction. While the group of samples from the leech-parasitized rays did not show any large differences, the abnormal group exhibited significantly elevated total solids and cholesterol levels. The latter was related to a significant increase in very low density lipoprotein levels. The results demonstrate the potential application of these laboratory methods in quantitation of plasma proteins and cholesterol fractions in subclass Elasmobranchii.
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