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Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 1989 Jul-Aug;18(4):587-93.

Effect of zinc deficiency on the accumulation of metallothionein and cadmium in the rat liver and kidney.


The effects of zinc (Zn) deficiency and repeated exposure to cadmium (Cd) on the accumulation and distribution of metallothionein (MT), Cd and Zn in the liver and kidney were studied. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed either a Zn-deficient (1 ppm) or a Zn-adequate (40 ppm) diet during the experiment, and the rats were injected subcutaneously with a cadmium chloride solution (1.0 mg Cd/kg of body weight, 5 days a week) for 4 weeks. Cadmium, Zn, and Cd-induced MT concentrations in the liver and kidney were lower in the Zn-deficient rats (-Zn + Cd) than in the Zn-adequate rats (+Zn + Cd), while the content of Cd bound to high molecular weight proteins (HMWP) was greater in the Zn-deficient rats (-Zn + Cd). The Zn bound to Cd-induced MT was reduced to 30% in the liver and to 60% in the kidney of the Zn-deficient rats (-Zn + Cd) as compared with that of the Zn-adequate rats (+Zn + Cd). In the kidney of Zn-deficient rats, exposure to Cd caused a decrease in essential Zn associated with HMWP as compared with that of Zn-adequate rats (+Zn + Cd). Thus, Zn-deficiency affected the distribution of Cd in tissues, MT and HMWP and accelerated substantially Cd-induced Zn-deficiency in the kidney.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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