Release of zinc from maternal tissues during zinc deficiency or simultaneous zinc and calcium deficiency in the pregnant rat

D. G. Masters, Carl L Keen, B. Lonnerdal, L. S. Hurley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ealier studies have shown that diets that increase tissue catabolism reduce the teratogenic effects of zinc deficiency. The hypothesis that zine may be released from body tissues when the metabolic state is altered was further tested. Non-pregnant Sprague-Dawley females were injected with 65Zn; after equilibration, the two major pools of zinc, bone and muscle had different specific activities, muscle being much higher. Females were mated and fed diets adequate in zinc and calcium, deficient in zinc alone or deficient in both zinc and calcium. Calculations using weight loss, zinc content of maternal bone and muscle and total zinc content of the fetus at term indicated that most of the zinc in the fetus at term in both the zinc-deficient and zinc-calcium-deficient groups came from breakdown of maternal muscle in the last 3 d of pregnancy. The relatively small amount of additional zinc released from bone in the zinc-calcium-deficient rats early in pregnancy was sufficient to prevent abnormal organogenesis. Specific activity of zinc in the zinc-deficient and zinc-calcium-deficient fetuses was equal and high, indicating that most zinc in these fetuses came from maternal tissues and from the same maternal sources in both groups. In contrast, specific activity of zinc in the fetuses from rats fed adequate zinc and calcium was less than 30% of that in either of the deficient groups; this is consistent with the hypothesis that most zinc accrued by these fetuses came directly from the diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2148-2154
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume116
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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