Influence of maternal dietary zinc intake on in vitro tubulin polymerization in fetal rat brain

P. I. Oteiza, S. Cuellar, B. Lonnerdal, L. S. Hurley, Carl L Keen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The hypothesis that one of the biochemical lesions underlying zinc deficiency-induced teratogenicity is altered microtubule formation was tested. Day 19 fetuses from zinc-deficient Sprague-Dawley dams were characterized by low brain supernate zinc concentrations and slow brain tubulin polymerization rates compared to controls. Brain supernate tubulin and protein concentrations were similar in zinc-deficient and control fetuses. In vitro brain tubulin polymerization rates were increased following addition of zinc to either control or zinc-deficient brain supernates; however, the stimulatory effect of added zinc on polymerization was significantly higher in brain supernates obtained from zinc-deficient fetuses compared to controls. These results support the idea that one effect of fetal zinc deficiency is a reduction in tubulin polymerization, which in turn may result in altered microtubule function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Embryology
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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