Agents and Actions

, Volume 36, Issue 1–2, pp 152–158 | Cite as

Zinc monoglycerolate — A slow-release source of therapeutic zinc: Solubilization by endogenous ligands

  • D. P. Fairlie
  • M. W. Whitehouse
  • R. M. Taylor
Inflammation and Immunomodulation


A combination of65Zn-tracer determinations, oxidative analyses for glycerol, and a bioassay for uncomplexed Zn2+ have shown that: (i) zinc monoglycerolate (ZMG) dissolves in aqueous salt dissolutions/physiological media by dissociation into zinc ions and glycerol, but the rate and extent of ZMG dissolution depend upon pH, and/or concentration and complexing efficiency of zinc-ligands; (ii) under physiological conditions certain ligands present in skin and blood (e.g. citrate, lactate, albumin, histidine, glutathione and other thiols and, to a lesser extent, amino acids) accelerate ZMG dissolution; and (iii) there is a general correlation between the conditional stability constants (pH 7.3, 25°C) of zinc-ligand complexes and the ability of given ligands to (a) solubilize ZMGin vitro and (b) mask the irritancy of Zn2+in vivo. These observations indicate a mechanism for the transformation of ZMG applied transdermally or subcutaneously, to bioactive zinc (anti-arthritic nutritional supplement, etc.).


Zinc Glycerol Albumin Lactate Glutathione 



Bovine serum albumin


N-[2-Hydroxyethyl] piperazine-N1[2-ethanesulfonic acid]


Joint Committe of Powder Diffraction Studies (USA)


2-[N-Morpholino] ethanesulfonic acid


Piperazine-N,N1 bis[2-ethanesulfonic acid]


Zinc monoglycerolate


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. P. Fairlie
    • 1
  • M. W. Whitehouse
    • 1
  • R. M. Taylor
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of AdelaideAdelaide
  2. 2.CSIRO Division of SoilsUrrbrae

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