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    Obesity is associated with an alteration in zinc metabolism. This alteration may be associated with changes in gene expression of zinc transporters. In this study, we examined the leukocyte expression of zinc transporter ZnTs in response to zinc supplementation in young obese women. Thirty-five young obese women (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m(2)), aged 18-28 years, were randomly assigned to two groups: a placebo group or a zinc group (30 mg zinc/day for 8 weeks). Usual dietary zinc intake was estimated from 3-day diet records. Serum zinc and urinary zinc concentrations were measured by atomic absorption spectrometry. Messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of leukocyte ZnT transporters were examined using quantitative real-time PCR. Expression levels of two ZnT transporters, ZnT1 and ZnT5, in obese women, increased significantly after zinc supplementation. At the end of the study, mRNA levels of ZnT1 and ZnT5 showed no correlation with serum zinc or urinary zinc concentration in obese women. In addition, a further study was conducted to identify whether the association between the gene expression levels of leukocyte ZnT1 and ZnT5 and dietary zinc intake remained consistent in 216 healthy young adults aged 20-29 years. A positive correlation between ZnT1 and dietary zinc intake (r = 0.181, P = 0.089) was also observed in healthy men although the significance was marginal. Taken together, these results show that the gene expression levels of ZnT1 and ZnT5 may be changed by zinc intake, suggesting that zinc supplementation could potentially restore ZnT transporter expression in obese women with altered zinc metabolism.


    Hwayoung Noh, Hee Young Paik, Jihye Kim, Jayong Chung. The changes of zinc transporter ZnT gene expression in response to zinc supplementation in obese women. Biological trace element research. 2014 Dec;162(1-3):38-45

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    PMID: 25240971

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