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ABSTRACT: The present study aims at evaluating the significance of zinc ions on the development of brain damage in a model of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The zinc ion specific autometallographic technique, the ZnSe(AMG) method, using silver enhancement of in vivo-captured zinc ions bound in zinc-selenium nanocrystals was applied to follow changes in the vesicular zinc pattern. Balb/c mice, ZnT3 knockout (ZnT3-Ko) mice, a mouse genetically knocked out for the protein ZnT3 responsible for sequestering zinc into synaptic vesicles, and littermates from the genetically un-manipulated mother type mice, wild type (Wt), were used. The Wt and the Balb/c mice exhibited instantaneously a boost in the zinc staining adjacent to the lesion involving all six neocortical layers. Ultra-structural analyses revealed that the in vivo created ZnSe nanocrystals were still confined to the vesicles of the zinc-enriched (ZEN) neurons in the neuropil. No differences between the Balb/c and Wt mice were seen at any time points. In the ZnT3-Ko mice the ZEN terminals stayed void of AMG grains, but a number of neuronal somata around the lesion became loaded with ZnSe nanocrystals. These silver-enhanced ZnSe nanocrystals were confined to the cytoplasm of the somata and their proximal dendrites. No such soma staining was seen in the Wt or Balb/c mice. We speculate that vesicular zinc may not contribute to neuronal damage following TBI.
Neuroscience 12/2007; 150(1):93-103. · 3.12 Impact Factor