Iron and copper accumulation in the brain of coxsackievirus-infected mice exposed to cadmium.Environ Res. 2006 Nov; 102(3):308-13.ER
Cadmium (Cd) is a potentially toxic metal widely distributed in the environment and known to cause adverse health effects in humans. During coxsackievirus infection, the concentrations of essential and nonessential trace elements (e.g., iron (Fe), copper (Cu), and Cd) change in different target organs of the infection. Fe and Cu are recognized cofactors in host defence reactions, and Fe is known to be associated with certain pathological conditions of the brain. However, whether nonessential trace elements could influence the balance of essential trace elements in the brain is unknown. In this study the brain Fe, Cu, and Cd contents were measured through inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and their distributions determined by nuclear microscopy in the early phase (day 3) of coxsackievirus B3 (CB3) infection in nonexposed and in Cd-exposed female Balb/c mice. In CB3 infection the brain is a well-known target that has not been studied with regard to trace element balance. The brain concentration of Cu compared with that of noninfected control mice was increased by 9% (P < 0.05) in infected mice not exposed to Cd and by 10% (not significant) in infected Cd-exposed mice. A similar response was seen for Fe, which in infected Cd-exposed mice, compared to noninfected control mice, tended to increase by 16%. Cu showed an even tissue distribution, whereas Fe was distributed in focal deposits. Changes in Cd concentration in the brain of infected mice were less consistent but evenly distributed. Further studies are needed to define whether the accumulation and distribution of trace elements in the brain have an impact on brain function.