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Issue 6, 2013
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Heterogeneous distribution of natural zinc isotopes in mice

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Zinc (Zn) is required for the function of more than 300 enzymes involved in many metabolic pathways, and is a vital micronutrient for living organisms. To investigate if Zn isotopes could be used to better understand metal homeostasis, as well as a biomarker for diseases, we assessed the distribution of natural Zn isotopes in various mouse tissues. We found that, with respect to Zn isotopes, most mouse organs are isotopically distinct and that the total range of variation within one mouse encompasses the variations observed in the Earth's crust. Therefore, biological activity may have a major impact on the distribution of Zn isotopes in inorganic materials. The most striking aspect of the data is that red blood cells and bones are enriched by ∼0.5 per mil in 66Zn relative to 64Zn when compared to serum, and up to ∼1 per mil when compared to the brain and liver. This fractionation is well explained by the equilibrium distribution of isotopes between different bonding environments of Zn in different organs. Differences in gender and genetic background did not appear to affect the isotopic distribution of Zn. Together, these results suggest the potential use of Zn isotopes as a tracer for dietary Zn, and for detecting disturbances in Zn metabolism due to pathological conditions.

Graphical abstract: Heterogeneous distribution of natural zinc isotopes in mice

  • This article is part of the themed collection: Zinc
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The article was received on 07 Jan 2013, accepted on 27 Mar 2013 and first published on 27 Mar 2013

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3MT00008G
Metallomics, 2013,5, 693-699

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    Heterogeneous distribution of natural zinc isotopes in mice

    F. Moynier, T. Fujii, A. S. Shaw and M. Le Borgne, Metallomics, 2013, 5, 693
    DOI: 10.1039/C3MT00008G

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