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Cerebellum. 2009 Jun;8(2):74-9. doi: 10.1007/s12311-008-0091-3. Epub 2009 Jan 13.

Iron, copper, and zinc distribution of the cerebellum.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.


Synchrotron rapid-scanning X-ray fluorescence (RS-XRF) is employed for the first time to simultaneously map iron, copper, and zinc in the normal cerebellum. The cerebellum is a major repository of metals that are essential to normal function. Therefore, mapping the normal metal distribution is an important first step towards understanding how multiple metals may induce oxidative damage, protein aggregation, and neurotoxicity leading to cerebellar degeneration in a wide range of diseases. We found that cerebellar white and grey matter could be sharply defined based upon the unique metal content of each region. The dentate nucleus was particularly metal-rich with copper localized to the periphery and iron and zinc abundant centrally. We discuss how RS-XRF metal mapping in the normal brain may yield important clues to the mechanisms of degeneration in the dentate nucleus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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