The interaction of Zn, stress and endotoxin on liver metallothionein (MT) regulation has been studied in the rat. Zn, stress and endotoxin increased liver MT levels significantly, by 12-, 5- and 8-fold, respectively. The previous administration of Zn to stress or endotoxin treatments increased MT levels by 35- and 42-fold, respectively, indicating a synergistic effect in both cases. In contrast, when liver MT was preinduced by stress, MT levels were further increased by endotoxin only in an additive manner. In another experiment where liver MT induction by stress was studied in control rats and in rats with preinduced MT by Zn, endotoxin or stress, it was found that Zn pretreated animals had higher MT-I mRNA levels than endotoxin- or stress-pretreated ones. No synergisms between dexamethasone, Zn, TNF and IFN were observed in primary culture of hepatocytes. These results suggest that the observed synergisms between Zn and other MT inducers in vivo in the liver is a consequence of increased Zn levels in the body and mobilization capacity, with concomitant MT synthesis.
- Primary culture