[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wilson's disease (WND) is an autosomal recessive disorder of copper (Cu) accumulation leading to liver and/or brain damage. Oral chelating agents and diet are effective in treating WND. However, once irreversible damage has occurred, the effect of treatment is diminished and the patient's quality of life is compromised. For these reasons an effective method for screening has been needed for early detection of presymptomatic patients. We conducted an early and presymptomatic detection of WND using a novel automated assay of ceruloplasmin (Cp) concentration in urine and selected the mandatory medical health care examination for 3-year-old children in Hokkaido Prefecture (the largest administrative division in Japan) as a sampling point. We measured urinary Cp concentrations in 11,362 children using an immunological latex agglutination assay kit developed by us. Among these children we identified a positive case with markedly reduced urinary Cp concentration. Detailed medical examination provided no clinical manifestations to support the diagnosis of WND, although serum Cp and Cu levels were remarkably low in this case. Therefore, we analyzed the WND gene in order to confirm the diagnosis. Sequence analysis revealed that the case was compound heterozygous for the WND gene mutations 2871del.C and D1296N. According to the Ferenci scoring system for WND diagnosis, the case was established as a WND patient at the presymptomatic stage. Consequently, the patient has maintained a good quality of life under medical treatment with polaprezinc administration to date. Our investigation suggests that the screening system for WND using the automated urinary assay at the mandatory medical health care examination for 3-year-old children is a noninvasive and efficient method for the early and presymptomatic diagnosis of WND.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2008 · Molecular Genetics and Metabolism
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Restriction of copper intake delays hepatic copper accumulation in Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rats, which are animal models of Wilson's disease. Involvement of zinc is suggested to develop hepatitis in the disease; however, this has not been clarified. The aims of this study were to investigate the effects of mild zinc deficiency on the development of hepatitis and to determine the relationship between the absorption and hepatic levels of copper, zinc and iron.
Male LEC and F344 (wild type atp7b) rats were fed a low zinc, phytate-containing or control diet. The onset of hepatitis (Experiment 1), and absorptive rates of copper, zinc and iron and hepatitis indices in 4 weeks (Experiment 2) were observed.
The onset of fulminant hepatitis in LEC rats was much earlier in the low zinc and phytate groups (mean 94.6 +/- 2.74 days and 82.8 +/- 3.56 days old, respectively) than in the control group (136 +/- 2.11 days old) with worse hepatitis indices. Hepatic copper levels were much higher in LEC rats than F344 rats, but were not largely different among the diet groups without prominent changes in copper absorption. Hepatic levels and intestinal absorption of zinc and iron were lower in the phytate group than in the control group.
Mild zinc deficiencies caused by a low zinc or phytate-containing diet accelerate the onset of hepatitis in LEC rats without increasing copper absorption, and zinc and iron metabolism may be involved in the earlier onset of jaundice of LEC rats.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2007 · Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology