Evaluation of MT expression and detection of apoptotic cells in LEC rat kidneys

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To confirm our previous observations on the effectiveness of long term treatment with Zn on Long-Evans Cinnamon (LEC) rats, we extended these studies determining the effects of Zn on trace elements, metallothionein (MT) concentrations and immunolocalization, and on the levels of both MT-1 and MT-2 mRNAs in the LEC rat kidneys. We also localized the renal cells that had chromatin condensation and nuclear fragmentation typical of apoptosis. The results demonstrate that the amount of Zn increased in the treated rats with respect to both untreated and basal rats. In the treated rats the amount of Cu and Fe was similar to that of the basal rats. MT concentrations did not change either with or without Zn treatment, but were higher than the basal group. However, if we consider the percentage of oxidized MT (MTox), we note that Zn treatment is very effective in reducing this value. MTox is not able to bind metals, so it does not perform a "scavenger" function. Moreover, quantification of mRNA indicates that the MT-1 isoform was significantly higher than the MT-2 isoform following Zn treatment. Untreated group sections showed a confocal fluorescent signal that highlighted the irregular nuclei and small apoptotic bodies. The intensity and quantity of fluorescence decreased in the treated group sections. These findings suggest that, in LEC rats, Zn may contribute to cytoprotection through the regulation of MT expression which may provide a cellular defence strategy in response to DNA damage. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Santon, A., Albergoni, V., Sturniolo, G. C., & Irato, P. (2004). Evaluation of MT expression and detection of apoptotic cells in LEC rat kidneys. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease, 1688(3), 223–231. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbadis.2003.12.009

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