Suboptimal dietary zinc intake promotes vascular inflammation and atherogenesis in a mouse model of atherosclerosis
Article first published online: 4 JUL 2012
© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Molecular Nutrition & Food Research
Special Issue: Nutrition and Atherosclerosis
Volume 56, Issue 7, pages 1097–1105, July 2012
How to Cite
Beattie, J. H., Gordon, M.-J., Duthie, S. J., McNeil, C. J., Horgan, G. W., Nixon, G. F., Feldmann, J. and Kwun, I.-S. (2012), Suboptimal dietary zinc intake promotes vascular inflammation and atherogenesis in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. Mol. Nutr. Food Res., 56: 1097–1105. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201100776
- Issue published online: 4 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 4 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 JAN 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 9 JAN 2012
- Manuscript Received: 24 NOV 2011
- Western diet;
- Zinc deficiency
Cardiovascular health is strongly influenced by diet. Zinc has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties but its long-term influence on vascular health at dietary intake levels relevant to the human population in developed countries has not been studied. We investigated the influence of suboptimal zinc intake in a Western-type diet on the development of vascular inflammation and arterial plaque in apoE knock-out (AEKO) mice.
Methods and results
Weanling AEKO and wild-type (WT) controls were given high saturated fat (21% w/w) and high cholesterol (0.15%) semi-synthetic diets containing 3 or 35 mg Zn/kg (AEKO and WT) or 8 mg Zn/kg (AEKO only) for over 6 months. AEKO mice on zinc intakes of 3 and 8 mg Zn/kg (suboptimal zinc) developed significantly (p < 0.05) more aortic plaque than AEKO mice consuming 35 mg Zn/kg (adequate zinc). Circulating levels of interleukin-1β, interleukin-6 and soluble vascular adhesion molecule-1 were significantly (p < 0.05) raised at the lowest zinc intake in AEKO mice, as compared to zinc-adequate controls. Plasma total cholesterol and total protein were also significantly (p < 0.05) increased at the lowest zinc intake.
We propose that suboptimal dietary zinc intake raises circulating pro-atherogenic lipoprotein levels that promote vascular inflammation and enhance arterial plaque formation.