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Agents Actions. 1993 Jul;39(3-4):195-209.

Copper and zinc body levels in inflammation: an overview of the data obtained from animal and human studies.

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Istituto di Farmacologia, Univerità di Verona, Italy.


The development of acute and chronic inflammatory processes induces, in the laboratory animal, a net accumulation of both copper and zinc in many body compartments, the inflamed area included. In rheumatoid arthritis, as well as in animal models, only plasma zinc concentration seems to be significantly correlated with disease severity, while the increase in total plasma copper could be described as an "all or nothing" phenomenon. Moreover, in rheumatoid arthritis, it appears that the disease develops and progresses without being linked to either copper or zinc deficiency conditions. Thus, it seems reasonable to suggest that a rationale for the use of copper and/or zinc in the treatment of inflammatory disorders can only be drawn from the intrinsic pharmacological properties of such trace elements, rather than from the need for their repletion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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