Author(s): Pinna K, Kelley DS, Taylor PC, King JC
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Although immunity is impaired during severe zinc deficiency, there is limited information about the effects of mild zinc depletion on immune response in humans. We evaluated the effects of a zinc-restricted diet (4.6 mg/d) on several indices of immunity in 8 healthy men. The subjects consumed zinc supplements with 9.1 mg/d during the 5-wk baseline (BL) and 5-wk repletion (RP) periods, and placebos during the 10-wk zinc-restriction (ZR) period. Leukocyte numbers and functions were studied at the end of each metabolic period. After ZR, there were reductions in the proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC) stimulated with phytohemagglutinin (PHA, 1.2, 2.5, 5.0, 10.0 [corrected] and 20.0 mg/L; P < 0.01) and in the in vitro secretion of interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R) (PHA, 2.5 mg/L; P = 0.058). These variables remained reduced (P < 0.05) even after 5 wk of zinc repletion. The amount of zinc consumed did not alter the numbers of circulating neutrophils, monocytes and lymphocytes, the in vitro PBMNC secretion of interferon-gamma and tumor necrosis factor-alpha or neutrophil superoxide production. The results suggest that changes in lymphocyte proliferation and IL-2R expression may be early markers of mild zinc deficiency.
This article was published in J Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine