Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 142, Issue 3, pp 447–455 | Cite as

Effects of Different Medical Treatments on Serum Copper, Selenium and Zinc Levels in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Suleyman Önal
  • Mustafa Nazıroğlu
  • Mesut Çolak
  • Vedat Bulut
  • Manuel F. Flores-Arce


The aim of the present study was to measure the changes in serum selenium, zinc, and copper in patients being treated for rheumatoid arthritis. Thirty-two patients and 52 healthy controls were included in the study. The copper level was higher and those of selenium and zinc were lower in the patients relative to controls. Treatment with methotrexate elevated the zinc levels, but not zinc and selenium. Treatments with salazopyrin, corticosteroids, chloroquine, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs did not change the levels of any of the elements studied. The decrease in zinc and selenium levels and elevation in copper levels observed in the patients probably resulted from the defense response of organism and are mediated by inflammatory-like substances.


Rheumatoid arthritis Selenium Zinc Copper Inflammation Methotrexate 







Glutathione peroxidase






Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


Rheumatoid arthritis


Reactive oxygen species




Superoxide dismutase


Tumor necrosis factor-α and





M. N. formulated the present hypothesis and was responsible for writing the report. S.O. and M. Ç. were responsible for data analyses. V.B. and M.F.F-A. made critical revisions to the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suleyman Önal
    • 1
  • Mustafa Nazıroğlu
    • 2
    • 6
  • Mesut Çolak
    • 3
  • Vedat Bulut
    • 4
  • Manuel F. Flores-Arce
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Clinical MicrobiologyIsparta State HospitalIspartaTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Biophysics, Medical FacultySuleyman Demirel UniversityIspartaTurkey
  3. 3.Deparment of Internal Medicine, Medical FacultyFirat UniversityElazigTurkey
  4. 4.Department of Clinical Microbiology, Medical FacultyGazi UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  5. 5.Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Tijuana Institute of TechnologyTijuanaMexico
  6. 6.Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Biological SciencesUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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