Zinc Deficiency Contributes to Chronic Inflammation in Obesity

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Title: Zinc Deficiency Contributes to Chronic Inflammation in Obesity
Creators: Burris, Dara
Advisor: Knoell, Daren
Issue Date: 2011-06
Abstract: Zinc deficiency and obesity are widely recognized as global public health problems. Further, zinc deficiency is common in obese individuals, yet the impacts of both conditions together have not been studied extensively. Knowing that obesity is a disease of systemic inflammation and that zinc plays an important role in immune function, we hypothesize that concurrent obesity and zinc deficiency will exacerbate metabolic and innate immune function leading to increased systemic inflammation. We postulate further that this is relevant in the context of human health since obesity-driven inflammation is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. First, to evaluate the impact of combined obesity and zinc deficiency, four-week old male C57BL/6 mice were randomly assigned to receive either a 60% high fat diet (HFD) or normal matched control diet (ND). As expected, within six weeks mice fed the HFD experienced on average a 29% weight gain and altered glucose metabolism. Next, the HFD and ND groups were subdivided into zinc deficient (Zn-) and control groups for three additional weeks, a time sufficient to achieve zinc deficiency. At the end of the zinc-modified dietary arm of this study we will evaluate a comprehensive profile of factors to determine to what extent changes occur systemically in zinc metabolism, glucose and lipid metabolism, and inflammation. In addition, we will use noninvasive MRI to measure the quality and quantity of fat content. Following this, we will inspect fat at the molecular level to determine changes in lipid metabolism consistent with inflammation. If we observe that zinc deficiency exacerbates systemic inflammation in the setting of obesity, this work will serve as the basis for future studies that evaluate the impact of zinc supplementation to reverse obesity-derived inflammation.
Embargo: No embargo
Series/Report no.: The Ohio State University. Department of Biochemistry Honors Theses; 2011
Keywords: obesity
zinc deficiency
innate immune function
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/49029
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