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Lab Anim. 1990 Jul;24(3):240-5.

Age related changes in weight and the concentrations of zinc and copper in the brain of the adult rat.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Central Hospital, Karlstad, Sweden.


Two groups of adult male rats aged 15 weeks and 49 weeks, 15 rats in each group, were analysed for the concentrations of the trace elements zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) in serum, liver, kidney, and five parts of the brain (cortex, corpus striatum, hippocampus, midbrain + medulla, and cerebellum). All organs increased in weight from 15 weeks to 49 weeks. In all parts of the brain, except for corpus striatum, there was a significant increase of the weights. The dry weight (% of wet) increased in all parts of the brain. In serum, the Zn and Cu concentrations increased from 15 weeks to 49 weeks. In the liver, both concentrations decreased and in the kidney the concentrations increased with increasing age. The Zn concentrations increased in cortex and corpus striatum and decreased in cerebellum and hippocampus. The Cu levels increased in all parts of the brain with the largest changes in corpus striatum. For rats aged 49 weeks, a significant correlation was found between the Cu concentrations of corpus striatum or midbrain + medulla and the fluid consumption. The findings of the present study reveal a dynamic age-related pattern of changes in the concentrations of Zn and Cu in different organs of the adult rat. This stresses the need of age-matching as an important control in experiment studies.

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