Author(s): Noh H, Paik HY, Kim J, Chung J
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Abstract Obesity, a chronic inflammatory state, is associated with altered zinc metabolism. ZnT and Zip transporters are involved in the regulation of zinc metabolism. This study examined the relationships among obesity, zinc transporter gene expression, and inflammatory markers in young Korean women. The messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of leukocyte zinc transporters between obese (BMI = 28.3 ± 0.5 kg/m(2), n = 35) and nonobese (BMI = 20.7 ± 0.2 kg/m(2), n = 20) women aged 18-28 years were examined using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and interleukin (IL)-6, were measured in serum by enzyme immunoassay. ZnT1 and Zip1 were the most abundantly expressed zinc transporters in leukocytes. The mRNA levels of many zinc transporters (ZnT4, ZnT5, ZnT9, Zip1, Zip4, and Zip6) were significantly lower in obese women, and expression of these genes was inversely correlated with BMI and body fat percentage. In addition, inflammatory markers (CRP and TNF-α) were significantly higher in obese women. The mRNA levels of ZnT4, Zip1, and Zip6 were inversely correlated with CRP (P < 0.05), and mRNA levels of ZnT4 and ZnT5 were inversely correlated with TNF-α (P < 0.05). In standardized simple regression models, levels of TNF-α and CRP were negatively associated with mRNA levels of zinc transporters such as ZnT4, ZnT5, Zip1, and Zip6 (P < 0.05). These results suggest that the expression of zinc transporters may be altered in obese individuals. Changes in zinc transporters may also be related to the inflammatory state associated with obesity.
This article was published in Biol Trace Elem Res
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism