The effect of valproic acid on 65Zn distribution in the pregnant rat

Carl L Keen, J. M. Peters, L. S. Hurley

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The effect of valproic acid on the distribution of gavaged 65Zn in maternal and embryonic tissue of Sprague-Dawley rats was examined 24 h after gavaging of the drug on d 13 of pregnancy. Valproic acid treatment resulted in a significantly higher retention of 65Zn in maternal liver and lower amounts in uterus, placenta and embryos than in controls. Compared to controls, gel chromatography of maternal liver from valproic acid-treated dams showed higher 65Zn counts associated with a protein peak of molecular weight of 6,500, the approximate molecular weight of the Zn-binding protein metallothionein. These results support the idea that the teratogenicity of valproic acid is in part due to an induction of embryonic Zn deficiency secondary to a drug-induced sequestering of Zn into maternal liver that results in a decrease in maternal plasma Zn and subsequent reduction in embryonic Zn uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-611
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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    Keen, C. L., Peters, J. M., & Hurley, L. S. (1989). The effect of valproic acid on 65Zn distribution in the pregnant rat. Journal of Nutrition, 119(4), 607-611.