Effects of dietary zinc deficiency and repletion on metallothionein and Ki-67 in rat small intestine, liver and kidney

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Szczurek, Elzbieta I.
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Zinc is a nutrient essential for normal growth and development. Numerous cellular proteins involved in proliferative processes require zinc for their function. Metallothionein (MT), a metal binding protein, may regulate the interactions of zinc with cellular proteins, and thus, it may modulate zinc-dependent processes in cell proliferation. Dietary zinc can affect MT tissue concentration, however, the effect of zinc status on MT tissue distribution is unknown. Also, the interactions between dietary zinc and MT in relation to cell cycle activity have not been investigated. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of zinc deficiency and repletion on MT concentration, and MT and Ki-67 immunohistochemical localization in small intestine, liver and kidney. Weanling Sprague Dawley rats were assigned to zinc-deficient (ZD), pair-fed (PF) and control (C) groups for 3 weeks. Half of (ZD), and PF rats were repleted with the control diet (ZR and PFR groups) for an additional 24 hours. Zinc status, tissuezinc and MT concentration, and immunohistochemical localization of MT and Ki-67, a cell cycle-associated marker, were determined. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)