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Dietary zinc attenuates renal lead deposition but metallothionein is not directly involved.

Author(s): Jamieson JA, Stringer DM, Zahradka P, Taylor CG

Affiliation(s): Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2N2.

Publication date & source: 2008-02, Biometals., 21(1):29-40. Epub 2007 Mar 28.

Publication type: Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Chronic lead exposure irreversibly damages the kidneys and may be associated with hypertension and renal insufficiency at sub-clinically toxic levels. Zinc supplementation reduces lead absorption and tissue retention in rodent models but the mechanisms are unknown. Metallothionein (MT) may function in lead detoxification. Our objective was to investigate the effects of marginal zinc (MZ) and supplemental zinc (SZ) intakes on renal lead and zinc accumulation, renal MT immunolocalization and levels. Weanling Sprague Dawley rats were assigned to MZ (8 mg Zn/kg diet), zinc-adequate control (CT; 30 mg Zn/kg), zinc-adequate diet-restricted (DR; 30 mg Zn/kg) or SZ (300 mg Zn/kg) groups, with and without lead acetate-containing drinking water (200 mg Pb/L) for 3 weeks. Kidneys were analyzed for lead and zinc by inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy and MT by immunolocalization and Western blotting. MZ had higher renal lead and lower renal zinc concentrations than CT. SZ was more protective than CT against renal lead accumulation. Renal MT levels reflected dietary intake (SZ > or = DR > or = CT > or = MZ) but lead had no effect on MT staining intensity, distribution, or relative protein amounts. In summary, while SZ lowered renal lead concentration, MT did not appear to function in renal lead accumulation. Future studies should explore alternate mechanisms of renal lead detoxification.

Page last updated: 2008-06-22

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