Zinc is Needed for Healthy Dendritic Cell Function

Byron's Comments:

Zinc is vital to general immune function, including the health of dendritic cells.

Study Title:

Toll-like receptor-mediated regulation of zinc homeostasis influences dendritic cell function.

Study Abstract:

Zinc is a trace element that is essential for the function of many enzymes and transcription factors. Zinc deficiency results in defects in innate and acquired immune responses. However, little is known about the mechanism(s) by which zinc affects immune cell function. Here we show that stimulation with the Toll-like receptor 4 agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS) altered the expression of zinc transporters in dendritic cells and thereby decreased intracellular free zinc. A zinc chelator mimicked the effects of LPS, whereas zinc supplementation or overexpression of the gene encoding Zip6, a zinc transporter whose expression was reduced by LPS, inhibited LPS-induced upregulation of major histocompatibility complex class II and costimulatory molecules. These results establish a link between Toll-like receptor signaling and zinc homeostasis.

Study Information:

Kitamura H, Morikawa H, Kamon H, Iguchi M, Hojyo S, Fukada T, Yamashita S, Kaisho T, Akira S, Murakami M, Hirano T Toll-like receptor-mediated regulation of zinc homeostasis influences dendritic cell function. Nat Immunol. 2006 September 7(9):971-7.
Laboratory for Cytokine Signaling, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan.

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