Effect of Zinc on Neuronal Activity in the Rat Forebrain

  • D. M. Wright
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 203)


Zinc is an important trace element. Manifestations of deficiency include: impaired growth and maturation, depressed healing and immunity, dermatitis, hypogonadism and impotence and impaired neuropsychological function (see Stanstead et al., 1983). There are about 150 metalloenzymes which are activated by zinc. It is often thought that it is in this manner that zinc ions exert their biological action. Pathological changes however can occur rapidly after dietary zinc deprivation, and a recent review (Bettger and O’Dell, 1981) suggests that the activity of only a few of these metalloenzymes is significantly depressed. The authors argue that zinc exerts physiological roles independent of those of the zinc metallo-enzymes, and suggest an important role in the maintenance of membrane structure and function such that deficiency would result in destabilization and altered membrane properties. Conversely, elevated extracellular concentrations of zinc would have a stabilizing or protective effect.


Depressant Effect Polygraph Record Iontophoretic Application Hippocampal Mossy Fibre High Frequency Activity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. M. Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy The Medical SchoolUniversity of BristolUK

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