Role of Vitamin-Zinc Interactions on In Vitro Zinc Uptake by Human Erythrocytes

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In vitro zinc uptake by human erythrocytes was studied under a range of zinc concentrations representing three different plasma zinc levels i.e., zinc deficient [0.35–0.61 ppm], zinc normal [0.74–1.59 ppm], and zinc excess [1.65–2.3 ppm]. Further, interactions of physiological levels of riboflavin, flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), nicotinic acid, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), thiamine, thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), folic acid, and ascorbic acid with zinc uptakes were studied in independent experiments. In control experiments, as compared to the normal zinc state, the rate of change of zinc uptake over change in zinc levels was 1.6 times in the excess state and 0.12 times in the deficient state, indicating three distinct patterns. Under the zinc-deficient state, thiamine significantly enhanced the zinc uptakes (p < 0.05), whereas ascorbic acid and riboflavin inhibited zinc uptakes (p < 0.05). The percent hemolysis of the cells was also significantly lower in the presence of thiamine (p < 0.05). Under normal and excess zinc states, the vitamin–zinc interactions were not significant. The results suggest that with erythrocytes as the vehicles, thiamine might be playing an enhancer role in uptake of zinc, whereas the action of ascorbic acid might be inhibitory for zinc uptakes under deficient zinc states.

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