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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

Gastrointestinal uptake of trace elements are changed during the course of a common human viral (Coxsackievirus B3) infection in mice

Ilback, Nils-Gunnar; Frisk, Peter; Tallkvist, Jonas; Gadhasson, Inga-Lill; Blomberg, Jonas; Friman, Goran


Most infectious diseases are accompanied by a change in levels of several trace elements in the blood. However, it is not known whether changes in the gastrointestinal uptake of trace elements contribute to this event. Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3), adapted to Balb/c mice, was used to study whether infection induces gene expression of metallothionein (MT1) and divalent-metal transporter I (DMTI) in the intestine and liver and hepcidin in the liver, as well as whether trace elements in these tissues are changed accordingly. Quantitative expression of CVB3, MT1, DMTI and hepcidin was measured by real-time RT-PCR and six trace elements by ICP-MS on days 3, 6 and 9 of the infection. The copper/zinc (Cu/Zn) ratio in serum increased as a response to the infection. High concentrations of virus were found in the intestine and liver on day 3 and in the intestine on day 6. MT1 in the intestine and liver increased on days 3 and 6. The increase of MT1 in the liver correlated positively with Cu and Zn. Hepcidin in the liver showed a nonsignificant increase on days 3 and 6 of the infection, whereas DMT1 in the intestine decreased on day 9. Accordingly, iron (Fe) in the liver increased progressively during the disease, whereas in the intestine DMTI was negatively correlated to Fe. Arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg) were found to decrease to various degrees in the intestine, serum and liver. Thus, enteroviral infections, and possibly many other infections, may cause a change in the gastrointestinal uptake of both non-essential and essential trace elements. (C) 2007 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


MT1; DMT1; hepcidin; trace elements; virus

Published in

Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology
2008, Volume: 22, number: 2, pages: 120-130

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Food Science
    Veterinary Science
    Animal and Dairy Science

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