Metallothionein induction in mice by CCi4: Hepatic Zn-status and distribution of administered Cd

H. E. Heilmaier, H. Greim, K. H. Summer

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Induction of metallothionein (MT), Zn status and the subcellular distribution of administered Cd were studied in liver after single administration of CC14 to mice. Hepatic MT was increased up to 153+ 16/ugMT/g liver 18 h after injection of 2ml CCl4/kg body weight. The observed decrease in Zn bound to cytosolic high molecular weight proteins from 25.5±0.6 to 19.8+1.1 resp. 19.0 +1.7/igZn/g and the increase in MT bound Zn from 4.0+0.5 to 9.5 +1.1 resp. 10.9+1.1/uZn/g compensate each other. Zn content of whole liver and hepatic cytosol remained unchanged. Hepatic subcellular distribution of 4 mg Cd/kg body weight, administered 2 h prior termination was also influenced by CC14. Cd bound to high molecular weight proteins decreased from 10.0 ±1.0 to 7.2+1.6 resp. 3.7 + 2.6/ugCd/g and Cd bound to MT increased from 12.5 + 1.4 to 18.0 + 3.8 resp. 23.1 +6.4 /ugCd/g. Cd content of both, whole liver and cytosol was not significantly different from control. The induction of MT has been suggested to be beneficial due to its role in the sequestration of toxic metals. The depletion of Zn from cytosolic high molecular weight proteins however might adversively influence essential physiological processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-78
Number of pages6
JournalToxicological and Environmental Chemistry
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Jun 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • CC14
  • cadmium distribution
  • endogenous zinc
  • gel chromatography
  • interactions
  • liver cytosol
  • mercapto group determination
  • metallothionein induction
  • mouse liver


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