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J Nutr. 2005 Sep;135(9):2114-8.

Zinc deficiency increases plasma lipids and atherosclerotic markers in LDL-receptor-deficient mice.

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Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, 40546, USA.


Low zinc concentration can be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. In the current study, we hypothesize that zinc deficiency can increase and zinc supplementation can decrease proatherosclerotic events in LDL receptor knock-out (LDL-R-/-) mice fed a moderate-fat diet. Mice were fed either a zinc-deficient (0 micromol Zn/g), a control (0.45 micromol Zn/g), or a zinc-supplemented (1.529 micromol Zn/g) diet for 4 wk. Mice fed the zinc-deficient diet had significantly increased concentrations of cholesterol and triacylglycerides in the VLDL and HDL fractions. Zinc supplementation decreased these lipid variables compared with control mice. We detected significantly higher concentrations of glutathione reductase mRNA in the thoracic aortae of zinc-deficient mice. Furthermore, inflammatory markers, such as nuclear factor-kappaB and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, were significantly increased in zinc-deficient mice compared with mice of the control or supplemented groups. In addition, zinc deficiency significantly reduced the DNA binding activity of peroxisome proliferator activate receptors (PPARs) in liver extracts. Interestingly, mRNA expression levels of PPARgamma were significantly increased in thoracic aortae of zinc-deficient mice, indicating an adaptation process to decreased PPAR signaling. These data provide in vivo evidence of zinc deficiency inducing proinflammatory events in an atherogenic mouse model. These data also suggest that adequate zinc may be a critical component in protective PPAR signaling during atherosclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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