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Relationship between metallothionine and zinc in the protection against DNA damage in zinc-treated Long-Evans Cinnamon rat liver

Author(s): A Santon | V Albergoni | G Santovito | GC Sturniolo | P Irato

Journal: European Journal of Histochemistry
ISSN 1121-760X

Volume: 48;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 317;
Date: 2004;
Original page

The aims of the work presented here were to determine the effect of long term treatment with zinc (Zn) on both total metallothionine (MT) and, in particular, oxidized MT (MTox) concentrations in Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rat liver. We also evaluated semi-quantitatively the cell death index using TUNEL assay as it is a useful method to localize the nuclear fragmentation occurring in oxidative stress conditions. The results demonstrate there were no statistically different MT concentrations between Zn-treated and untreated rats, whereas the Zn treatment was very effective in reducing the percentage of oxidized MT (MTox). MTox is not able to bind metals, so it does not perform its “scavenger” action against copper (Cu) accumulation in LEC rats. The intensity and quantity of fluorescent staining observed in untreated rat sections decreased compared to the treated ones. These findings suggest that in LEC rats one of zinc's roles is to protect from oxidative stress, however, its mode of action remains partially unknown: a hypothesis is competition for Cu binding sites. A new insight is that Zn induced MT can protect efficiently against DNA damage by free radicals.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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