Modulating the immune response by oral zinc supplementation: a single approach for multiple diseases.

Institute of Immunology, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Aachen, Germany.
Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis (Impact Factor: 2.82). 02/2008; 56(1):15-30. DOI: 10.1007/s00005-008-0003-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Zinc is required for multiple cellular tasks, and especially the immune system depends on a sufficient availability of this essential trace element. During the last decades, many studies attempted to affect the outcome of various diseases by zinc supplementation. These efforts either aimed at supporting immunity by zinc administration or at correcting a loss of zinc secondary to the disease to restore the zinc-dependent functions of the immune system. This review aims to summarize the respective findings and to discuss possible molecular mechanisms by which zinc could influence viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections, autoimmune diseases, and the response to vaccination. Zinc supplementation in diseases such as diarrhea, chronic hepatitis C, shigellosis, leprosy, tuberculosis, pneumonia, acute lower respiratory infection, and leishmaniasis seems beneficial. In contrast, the results for the common cold and malaria are still not conclusive, and zinc was ineffective in most vaccination and rheumatoid arthritis studies. For AIDS and type 1 diabetes, zinc supplementation may even be a risk factor for increased mortality or deterioration of the glucose metabolism, respectively. In these cases, zinc supplementation should be used with care and limited to clearly zinc-deficient individuals.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cutaneous leishmaniasis triggers a varied immune response depending on parasite and host factors, which in turn can be influenced by nutrients. The resistance to the infection is associated with the Th1 type of cytokine production. The Th1 type can be reduced as a consequence of zinc deficiency, which may increase the risk for chronicity of the infection. Using in vitro and ex vivo models, we studied the influence of zinc supplementation on the immune response in patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis treated with antimony and the data were also compared to those of matched controls. Twenty-nine patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis (n = 14 in zinc-supplemented group [45 mg/day] and n = 15 in placebo group) were treated by intramuscular injections of antimony for 20 days and took supplements for 60 days. Immunoglobulins in plasma and cell proliferation, IFN-γ production and CD markers of isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were measured. It was found that the cellular immune response of the patients maintained its activity as assessed by the ability of the PBMC to proliferate and produce IFN-γ in response to concanavalin A. Moreover, there was no difference in these variables between the zinc-supplemented and placebo groups after 60 days. The addition of zinc sulphate in vitro to PBMC reduced the IFN-γ production in the placebo group only. It is concluded that the cellular immune response of the cutaneous leishmaniasis patients remained active during treatment by antimony when compared to that of controls. It was not possible to document an additional effect of zinc supplementation for 60 days on the immune response.
    Biomedecine [?] Pharmacotherapy 11/2014; 69. DOI:10.1016/j.biopha.2014.11.006 · 2.11 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Zinc (Zn) supplementation has been shown to reduce the incidence of diarrhea and to protect animals from intestinal diseases, but the mechanisms of this protective effect against virus infection in vivo have not yet been elucidated. Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) causes diarrhea in piglets with an age-dependent decrease of severity. We used 60 weaned piglets that were divided into three groups to evaluate the effect of different Zn levels added to a conventional diet (50 mg Zn/kg diet, Znlow, control group). The other groups received the diet supplemented with ZnO at final concentrations of 150 mg Zn/kg diet (Znmed), or 2,500 mg/kg diet (Znhigh). Oral challenge infection with TGEV was performed when the pigs had been fed for 1 week with the respective diet. Half of the piglets of each group were sacrificed at day 1 and 18 after challenge infection. Fecal consistency was improved and body weights increased in the Znhigh group when compared to the other groups, but no direct effect of Zn concentrations in the diet on fecal TGEV shedding and mucosal immune responses was detectable. However, in the Znhigh group, we found a prevention of villus atrophy and decreased caspase-3-mediated apoptosis of jejunal epithelium. Furthermore, pigs receiving high Zn diet showed a down-regulation of interferon (IFN)-alpha, oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS), Zn transporter SLC39A4 (ZIP4), but up-regulation of metallothionein-1 (MT1), as well as the Zn transporters SLC30A1 (ZnT1) and SLC30A5 (ZnT5). In addition, forskolin-induced chloride secretion and epithelial resistance were controlled at a physiological level in the Znhigh but not the other groups. Finally, in the Znhigh group, we documented an earlier and higher systemic TGEV-specific serum antibody response. These results suggest that high dietary Zn could provide enhanced protection in the intestinal tract and stimulate the systemic humoral immune response against TGEV infection.
    BMC Veterinary Research 03/2014; 10(1):75. DOI:10.1186/1746-6148-10-75 · 1.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Copper (Cu) and Zinc (Zn) are essential trace elements which play an important role in various biological processes. Zn deficiency is common in liver diseases while Cu deficiency is rarely reported. To determine whether serum Cu and Zn concentrations differed in acute hepatitis, compared to controls and investigate possible correlations of Cu and Zn values with etiology and severity of liver diseases.
    Hippokratia 04/2014; 18(2):144-9. · 0.36 Impact Factor


Available from