Intracellular Zinc: A mediator of Vascular Aging and Disease?
Atherosclerosis: Open Access

Like us on:

Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700+ peer reviewed, Open Access Journals that operates with the help of 50,000+ Editorial Board Members and esteemed reviewers and 1000+ Scientific associations in Medical, Clinical, Pharmaceutical, Engineering, Technology and Management Fields.
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Conferenceseries Events with over 600+ Conferences, 1200+ Symposiums and 1200+ Workshops on Medical, Pharma, Engineering, Science, Technology and Business
  • Editorial   
  • Atheroscler Open Access 2016, Vol 1(1): e103

Intracellular Zinc: A mediator of Vascular Aging and Disease?

Gloria Salazar*
Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences, College of Human Sciences, Florida State University, USA
*Corresponding Author: Gloria Salazar, Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences, College of Human Sciences, Florida State University, USA, Tel: 850-644-1220, Email: [email protected]

Received: 22-Sep-2015 / Accepted Date: 10-Jun-2016 / Published Date: 17-Jun-2016


Aging is a major risk factor in the development of cardiovascular diseases. Accumulation of waste materials like damaged mitochondria and decline in stress response mechanisms contribute to increased oxidative stress over time. The free radical theory of aging postulates that increased levels of reactive oxygen species [ROS] cause genomic and mitochondrial DNA damage leading to sustained oxidative stress that promotes tissue dysfunction and aging. In the cardiovascular system, NADPH oxidases produce ROS that are involved in normal function; however, overproduction of ROS by these enzymes, as well as decreased expression of antioxidant enzymes are associated with vascular dysfunction and disease [1].

Cellular senescence, a hallmark of mammalian aging, is a process of permanent cell cycle arrest [2] that has been linked to the development of age-related diseases, including atherosclerosis [3-5]. A causative role for senescence in disease development was reported as the selective removal of senescent cells in vivo showed a delay in age-related diseases [6]. Although senescent cells have lost their replicative capability, they possess a secretory and pro-oxidative/inflammatory phenotype [7] that likely contributes to organ dysfunction during aging.

It is well known that nutritional status plays an important role in disease development. Over-consumption of high calorie foods is a risk factor for diseases like metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis and diabetes; however less is known about the consequences of micronutrient deficiencies in cardiovascular disease progression.

Zinc deficiency, prevalent worldwide 31% by the World Health Organization [8], has been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis by undefined mechanisms [9,10]. Beattie et al. reported that low dietary zinc intake promoted atherosclerosis in ApoE knockout mice, which was associated with increased inflammation. Using LDL receptor knockout mice, Shen et al. showed that zinc deficiency increased the expression of inflammatory markers and that zinc was required for the protective anti-inflammatory function of PPAR [11]. Moreover, maternal zinc deficiency in rats was correlated with increased susceptibility to cardiovascular diseases in adult life of the offspring [12,13].

The fact that zinc deficiency develops during aging suggests a possible link between zinc and senescence. However, a causative role for zinc deficiency in promoting vascular senescence that may accelerate atherosclerosis has not been established. In vitro experiments from our lab support the notion that altered zinc homeostasis accelerates cellular senescence by a ROS-dependent mechanism in vascular smooth muscle cells [VSMCs] [14]. Addition of exogenous zinc activates a NADPH oxidase leading to increased levels of ROS that cause senescence in these cells. In addition to the increased production of ROS, zinc also decreased the antioxidant capacity by downregulating catalase expression [14]. Thus, intracellular zinc not buffered by zinc regulatory mechanisms creates a vicious cycle that promotes oxidative damage and senescence in VSMCs. A role for intracellular zinc in aging has been also shown in other systems. Unbalanced intracellular zinc is a well-established mediator of oxidative damage and neuronal cell death in neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s disease [15,16]. In the brain excess zinc, such as the one released after cellular injury, alters mitochondrial membrane potential, activates cytoplasmic ROS generating enzymes, such as 12- lipoxygenase [12-LOX], and stimulates signal transduction pathways that contributes to neuronal cell death. Thus, increased intracellular zinc in vitro and zinc deficiency in vivo lead to oxidative stress that may mediate vascular disease. How could these observations be explained? One possibility is that zinc deficiency may induce changes in the expression of zinc regulators such as zinc transporters causing a redistribution of intracellular zinc. For example, down regulation of the zinc transporters ZnT3 and ZnT10 [exporters that decrease intracellular zinc] induces senescence of VSMCs by decreasing catalase and increasing ROS levels [14]. Down regulation of these transporters reduces zinc accumulation in intracellular compartments [14], likely causing a rise in cytosolic zinc. Furthermore, zinc deficiency increases Zip6 [importer that increases intracellular zinc] and decreases ZnT1 expression to increase zinc uptake in the brain during zinc deficiency [17]. Thus, it is possible that this could also be the case in the aorta.

In other to fully understand the role of zinc in vascular aging and disease, intracellular zinc levels and distribution as well as expression of zinc transporters in response to zinc deficiency in the cardiovascular system should be addressed. Since zinc deficiency is not also associated with lower zinc intake but also with chronic diseases, development of this emerging area of research is urgently needed.


  1. Lassegue B, San Martin A, Griendling KK (2012) Biochemistry, physiology, and pathophysiology of NADPH oxidases in the cardiovascular system. Circ Res 110: 1364-1390.
  2. Hayflick L, Moorhead PS (1961) The serial cultivation of human diploid cell strains. Experimental cell research 25: 585-621.
  3. Fuster JJ, Andres V (2006) Telomere biology and cardiovascular disease. Circ Res 99: 1167-1180.
  4. Erusalimsky JD, Kurz DJ (2005) Cellular senescence in vivo: its relevance in ageing and cardiovascular disease. ExpGerontol 40: 634-642.
  5. Minamino T, Miyauchi H, Yoshida T, Ishida Y, Yoshida H, et al. (2002) Endothelial cell senescence in human atherosclerosis: role of telomere in endothelial dysfunction. Circulation 105: 1541-1544.
  6. Baker DJ, Wijshake T, Tchkonia T, LeBrasseur NK, Childs BG, et al. (2011) Clearance of p16Ink4a-positive senescent cells delays ageing associated disorders. Nature 479: 232-236.
  7. Coppe JP, Desprez PY, Krtolica A, Campisi J (2010) The senescence-associated secretory phenotype: the dark side of tumor suppression. Annual review of pathology 5: 99-118.
  8. Caulfield L, Black R (2002) Zinc Deficiency. The World Health report. World Health Organization, pp. 257-279.
  9. Little PJ, Bhattacharya R, Moreyra AE, Korichneva IL (2010) Zinc and cardiovascular disease. Nutrition 26: 1050-1057.
  10. Beattie JH, Gordon MJ, Duthie SJ, McNeil CJ, Horgan GW, et al. (2012). Suboptimal dietary zinc intake promotes vascular inflammation and atherogenesis in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. MolNutr Food Res 56: 1097-1105.
  11. Shen H, Oesterling E, Stromberg A, Toborek M, MacDonald R, et al. (2008). Zinc deficiency induces vascular pro-inflammatory parameters associated with NF-kappaB and PPAR signalling. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 27: 577-587.
  12. Tomat AL, Inserra F, Veiras L, Vallone MC, Balaszczuk AM, et al. (2008) Moderate zinc restriction during fetal and postnatal growth of rats: effects on adult arterial blood pressure and kidney. Am J PhysiolRegulIntegr Comp Physiol 295: R543-549.
  13. Tomat A, Elesgaray R, Zago V, Fasoli H, Fellet A, et al. (2010) Exposure to zinc deficiency in fetal and postnatal life determines nitric oxide system activity and arterial blood pressure levels in adult rats. Br J Nutr 104: 382-389.
  14. Patrushev N, Seidel-Rogol B, Salazar G (2012) Angiotensin II requires zinc and downregulation of the zinc transporters ZnT3 and ZnT10 to induce senescence of vascular smooth muscle cells. PLoS One 7: e33211.
  15. McCord MC, Aizenman E (2014) The role of intracellular zinc release in aging, oxidative stress, and Alzheimer's disease. Frontiers in aging neuroscience 6: 77.
  16. Granzotto A, Sensi SL (2015) Intracellular zinc is a critical intermediate in the excitotoxic cascade. Neurobiology of disease.
  17. Chowanadisai W, Kelleher SL, Lonnerdal B (2005) Zinc deficiency is associated with increased brain zinc import and LIV-1 expression and decreased ZnT-1 expression inneonatal rats. J Nutr 135: 1002-1007.

Citation: Salazar G (2016) Intracellular Zinc: A mediator of Vascular Aging and Disease?. Atheroscler open access 1:e103.

Copyright: © 2016 Salazar G. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Post Your Comment Citation
Share This Article
Article Usage
  • Total views: 14006
  • [From(publication date): 3-2016 - Mar 23, 2023]
  • Breakdown by view type
  • HTML page views: 9603
  • PDF downloads: 4403
Share This Article

Post your comment

captcha   Reload  Can't read the image? click here to refresh
Peer Reviewed Journals

Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals

Clinical & Medical Journals

Dersleri yüzünden oldukça stresli bir ruh haline sikiş hikayeleri bürünüp özel matematik dersinden önce rahatlayabilmek için amatör pornolar kendisini yatak odasına kapatan genç adam telefonundan porno resimleri açtığı porno filmini keyifle seyir ederek yatağını mobil porno okşar ruh dinlendirici olduğunu iddia ettikleri özel sex resim bir masaj salonunda çalışan genç masör hem sağlık hem de huzur sikiş için gelip masaj yaptıracak olan kadını gördüğünde porn nutku tutulur tüm gün boyu seksi lezbiyenleri sikiş dikizleyerek onları en savunmasız anlarında fotoğraflayan azılı erkek lavaboya geçerek fotoğraflara bakıp koca yarağını keyifle okşamaya başlar