Agents and Actions

, Volume 39, Issue 3–4, pp 195–209 | Cite as

Copper and zinc body levels in inflammation: An overview of the data obtained from animal and human studies

  • Roberto Milanino
  • Mauro Marrella
  • Roberta Gasperini
  • Mara Pasqualicchio
  • Giampaolo Velo


The development of acute and chronic inflammatory processes induces, in the laboratory animal, a net accumulation of both copper and zinc in many body compartments, the inflammed area included. In rheumatoid arthritis, as well as in animal models, only plasma zinc concentration seems to be significantly correlated with disease severity, while the increase in total plasma copper could be described as an “all or nothing” phenomenon. Moreover, in rheumatoid arthritis, it appears that the disease develops and progresses without being linked to either copper or zinc deficiency conditions.

Thus, it seems reasonable to suggest that a rationale for the use of copper and/or zinc in the treatment of inflammatory disorders can only be drawn from the intrinsic pharmacological properties of such trace elements, rather than from the need for their repletion.


Copper Zinc Rheumatoid Arthritis Inflammatory Process Pharmacological Property 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Milanino
    • 1
  • Mauro Marrella
    • 1
  • Roberta Gasperini
    • 1
  • Mara Pasqualicchio
    • 1
  • Giampaolo Velo
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto di FarmacologiaUniversità di VeronaVeronaItaly

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