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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Zinc deficiency decreases the concentration of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in guinea pig cortical synaptic membranes.

Zinc deficiency in guinea pigs decreases glutamate-stimulated calcium uptake in cortical synaptosomes. Glutamate not only stimulates calcium uptake but also potentiates the binding of the drug dizocilpine (MK-801) to an internal site of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor/calcium channel, a subtype of the glutamate receptor. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the effect of zinc deficiency on calcium uptake by glutamate-stimulated synaptosomes is related to N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor number or function, as measured by MK-801 binding. Immature guinea pigs consumed a low zinc (< 1 mg/kg) diet ad libitum or an adequate zinc (100 mg/kg) diet, either ad libitum or restricted to maintain weight similar to that of the low zinc animals. Binding of MK-801 to cortical membranes was measured first in the presence of saturating concentrations of glutamate or N-methyl-D-aspartate in combination with glycine. Zinc deficiency significantly reduced the concentration of MK-801 binding sites (20%) regardless of the potentiating agonist used, but had no effect on binding affinity. The binding of MK-801 in response to 1, 10 and 100 mumol/L glycine, in the presence of 100 nmol/L glutamate, was then measured and found to be significantly reduced (12%). The results suggest that zinc deficiency decreases the number of functional N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor/channels in cortical membranes, probably because of impaired channel opening.[1]


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