, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 167-175

Age-dependent changes in metallothionein levels in liver and kidney of the Japanese

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Samples of liver, renal cortex, and medulla were obtained from 55 forensic autopsies (0- to 95-yr-old Japanese). Metallothionein (MT) was determined by the Ag-hem or Cd-hem method. Zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and cadmium (Cd) were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The mean levels of MT were 250 μg/g in the liver, and 394 μg/g (cortex) and 191 μg/g (medulla) in the kidney. Age-dependent changes were observed in both the liver and kidney. In the liver, MT level decreased during infancy and increased thereafter with age. Similar age-dependent changes in the levels of Zn and Cu were observed. In the kidney cortex, MT level increased with age, although no correlation was found after middle age. The levels of Cd and Zn also increased with age until middle age; however, they decreased thereafter. These results suggest that age-dependent changes in renal MT levels are associated with accumulation of Cd.