Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 68, Issue 2, pp 137–142 | Cite as

Trace element and magnesium levels and superoxide dismutase activity in rheumatoid arthritis

  • Safiye Tuncer
  • Ayhan Kamanli
  • Ethem AkÇil
  • Güzin özelÇi Kavas
  • Bülent SeÇkin
  • Mesut Birol Atay
Original Articles


It has been suggested that reactive oxygen metabolites and trace elements play some role in the etiology and pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is believed to exert an important protective role against oxygen toxicity. The aim of the study was to investigate the probable changes in the levels of trace elements and SOD activity in RA. Plasma and erythrocyte copper, zinc, and magnesium levels and erythrocyte SOD activity were measured in groups of controls and RA cases. Significantly increased erythrocyte SOD activity was found in RA patients in comparison with controls(p < 0.0001). A rise in erythrocyte Zn level(p < 0.0001) and plasma Cu level(p < 0.0001) and a decrease in erythrocyte Cu level(p < 0.05) and plasma Zn level(p < 0.05) were obtained in RA patients when compared to controls. Plasma and erythrocyte Mg levels of the RA patients showed slight and statistically insignificant reductions when compared to controls(p > 0.05). In RA patients, there were positive correlations between erythrocyte SOD activity and Mg level (r = 0.4345,p < 0.01) and between erythrocyte Zn level and plasma Cu level(r = 0.4132,p < 0.01). There were negative correlations between erythrocyte SOD activity and plasma Zn level(r =-0.3605,p < 0.05) and between plasma Zn level and erythrocyte Cu level(r =-0.4578,p < 0.01) in RA patients.

Index Entries

Copper zinc magnesium Superoxide dismutase rheumatoid arthritis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    P. Biemond, A. J. G. Swaak, and J. F. Koster, Protective factors against oxygen free radicals and hydrogen peroxide in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fluid,Arthr. Rheum. 27, 760–765 (1984).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    B. Halliwell and J. M. C. Gutteridge, Role of free radicals and catalytic metal ions in human disease: an overview,Methods Enzymol. 186, 1–85 (1990).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. M. C. Gutteridge, Biological origin of free radicals, and mechanisms of antioxidant protection,Chem. Biol. Interact. 91, 133–140 (1994).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    A. Petkau, Scientific basis for the clinical use of superoxide dismutase,Cancer Treat. Rev. 13, 17–44 (1986).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    V. Honkanen, C. H. Lamberg-Allardt, and M. K. Vesterinen, Plasma zinc and copper concentrations in rheumatoid arthritis,Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 54(6), 1082–1086 (1991).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    M. A. Cimmino, L. Pane, M. Cutolo, T. Valente, and S. Rovida, Zinc concentrations in rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis,Scand. J. Rheum. 15, 403–407 (1986).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    R. Milanino, A. Prigo, L. M. Bambara, M. Marrella, U. Moretti, M. Pasqualiccho, et al., Copper and zinc status in rheumatoid arthritis: studies of plasma, erythrocytes, and urine, and their relationship to disease activity markers and pharmacological treatment,Clin. Exp. Rheum. 11, 271–281 (1993).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    K. Svenson, R. Hallgren, E. Johansson, and U. Lindh, Abnormal calcium, magnesium and zinc stores in peripheral blood cells from patients with inflammatory connective tissue disease,Acta Pharmacol. Toxicol. (Copenhagen) 59(Suppl.7), 386–91 (1986).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    C. C. Winterbourn, R. E. Hawkins, and M. Brian, The estimation of red cell superoxide dismutase activity,J. Lab. Clin. Med. 85(2), 337–341 (1975).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Perkin-Elmer, Analysis of serum determination of copper and zinc (BC-5), inAnalytical Method for Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry, Perkin-Elmer Corp., Norwalk, CT, p. BC-5 (1973).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    F. Rosner and P. C. Gorfien, Erythrocyte and plasma zinc and magnesium levels in health and disease,J. Lab. Clin. Med. 72(2), 213–219 (1968).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    A. Cennetti, M. De-Martino, E. Graziani, S. Maddali-Bongi, C. Palemo, E. Pavar, et al., Superoxide anion production by circulating polymorphonuclear leucocytes in rheumatoid arthritis,Clin. Rheum. 9(1), 51–55 (1990).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    A. Stewart, Anti-inflammatory agents as inhibitors of prostaglandin synthesis in man,Med. Clin. North Am. 65(4), 713–757 (1984).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    T. Westermarck, V. Honkanen, H. Mussalo-Rauhamaa, J. Lehto, P. Pelkonen, and U. R. Nordberg, Glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, inElements in Health and Disease, Second International Conference on Element in Health and Disease, 6–10 February (1987), H. M. Said, A. Rahman, and L. A. D’Silva, eds., Hamdard University Press, Karachi, Pakistan, pp. 624–629 (1987).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    A. Imadaya, K. Terasawa, and H. Tosa, Erythrocyte antioxidant enzymes are reduced in patients with rheumatoid arthritis,J. Rheum. 15, 1628–1631 (1988).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    J. C. Banford, D. H. Brown, and R. A. Hazelton, Serum copper and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase in rheumatoid arthritis,Ann. Rheum. Dis. 41, 458–62 (1982).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    P. Scudder, J. Stocks, and T. L. Dormandy, The relationship between erythrocyte superoxide dismutase activity and erythrocyte copper levels in normal subjects and in patients with rheumatoid arthritis,Clin. Chim. Acta 69, 397–403 (1976).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    I. Kushner, Regulation of acute phase response by cytokines,Perspect. Biol. Med. 36(4), 611–622 (1993).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    M. Marrella, U. Moretti, M. Pasqualicchio, G. P. Velo, E. Trevisani, L. M. Bambara, et al., Plasma and total blood cell copper in rheumatoid arthritis,Agents Actions 29, 120–121 (1990).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    H. özgüneŞ, H. Gürer, and S. Tuncer, Correlation between plasma malondialdehyde and ceruloplasmin activity values in rheumatoid arthritis,Clin. Biochem. 28, 193–194 (1995).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    C. Algre, J. Bare, and J. Obach, Zinc and rheumatic disease,Arthr. Rheum. 27(9), 1073–1074 (1984).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    H. Morgenstern and F. Machtey, Serum zinc and copper levels in rheumatoid arthritis,Arthr. Rheum. 26, 933–934 (1983).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Z. Balogh, A. F. Ghobarey, G. S. Fell, D. H. Brown, J. Dunlop, and W. C. Dick, Plasma zinc and its relationship to clinical symptoms and drug treatment in rheumatoid arthritis,Ann. Rheum. Dis. 39, 329–332 (1980).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Safiye Tuncer
    • 1
  • Ayhan Kamanli
    • 1
  • Ethem AkÇil
    • 2
  • Güzin özelÇi Kavas
    • 2
  • Bülent SeÇkin
    • 1
  • Mesut Birol Atay
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical Therapy and RehabilitationAnkara University Faculty of MedicineAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Department of PathophysiologyAnkara University Faculty of MedicineAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations