Effects of dietary zinc levels on the activities of enzymes, weights of organs, and the concentrations of zinc and copper in growing rats.Biol Trace Elem Res 2005; 107(2):153-65BT
Zinc (Zn) is an essential nutrient that is required in humans and animals for many physiological functions, including immune and antioxidant function, growth, and reproduction. The present study was performed to investigate the effects of three Zn levels, including Zn adequate (35.94 mg/kg, as a control), Zn deficiency (3.15 mg/kg), and Zn overload (347.50 mg/kg) in growing male rats for 6 wk. This allowed for evaluation of the effects that these Zn levels might have on body weight, organ weight, enzymes activities, and tissues concentrations of Zn and Cu. The results showed that Zn deficiency has negative effects on growth, organ weight, and biological parameters such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase (Cu-Zn SOD) activities, whereas Zn overload played an effective role in promoting growth, improving the developments of organs and enhancing immune system. Hepatic metallothionein (MT) concentration showed an identical increase tendency in rats fed both Zn-deficient and Zn-overload diets. The actual mechanism of reduction of Cu concentration of jejunum in rats fed a Zn-overload diet might involve the modulation or inhibition of a Cu transporter protein by Zn and not by the induction of MT.