The Alterations of Copper and Zinc Homeostasis in Acute Appendicitis and the Clinical Significance


Copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) are involved in inflammatory process. This study was to investigate the clinical significance of Cu and Zn homeostasis alterations in acute appendicitis (AA). One hundred twenty-two AA patients and 102 healthy controls were enrolled in this study. Of which, 85 patients’ appendixes were collected after appendectomy. Another six appendixes from colon cancer patients were collected as tissue controls. The contents of Cu and Zn in serum or appendix were detected, and the Cu to Zn ratio (CZr) was calculated. The concentrations of serum ceruloplasmin (CP), Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-22 in serum were measured, as well as the activity of CP and SOD1. The serum Zn concentration and SOD1 activity, appendix contents of Cu and Zn significantly decreased in AA patients, compared with those of controls, while serum CZr, concentrations of CP, SOD1, and IL-6, as well as CP activity increased significantly in AA patients. Additionally, serum concentrations of Zn, CP, CZr, or SOD1 activity varied in different pathological types of AA. Indicators such as serum SOD1 activity might serve as predictors for pathological classification before surgery. The serum Zn and CZr may be helpful for diagnosis of pure AA. The Cu and Zn homeostasis was altered in AA patients, which might contribute to inflammatory process of AA.

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This work was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (No.81172088), the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (2018A030307005), and Natural Science Foundation of Shenzhen University General Hospital (SUGH2018QD002, SUGH2018QD027).

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Correspondence to Zhexuan Lin or Ming Han.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Lin, W., Han, W., Wen, K. et al. The Alterations of Copper and Zinc Homeostasis in Acute Appendicitis and the Clinical Significance. Biol Trace Elem Res 192, 116–122 (2019).

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  • Acute appendicitis
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Ceruloplasmin
  • Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase
  • Interleukin-6