Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

Sponsored by the American Physiological Society

Could zinc be involved in forming kidney stones?

zinc_fragment_sublimed_and_1cm3_cube

Image of zinc by Alchemist-hp (talk) (www.pse-mendelejew.de) – Own work, FAL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11660410

Zinc is a micronutrient that is essential for normal protein production and for various enzymes to function properly in the body. Levels are important to regulate because too much can be toxic to the kidneys whereas too little can lead to problems with immune and metabolic function as well as infertility.

In a new study published in American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology, researchers were interested in how zinc is transported in the kidneys of various animals as some studies suggest that zinc might actually help form kidney stones. Yikes!

The researchers studied a specific zinc transporter, known as ZIP10, in the kidneys of dogs, mice, and humansInterestingly, they detected the transporter in the same two regions of the kidney in dogs and humans whereas it was only found in one region of the kidney in mice. The specific locations of the transporter suggested to researchers that the kidneys of humans and dogs may prevent zinc loss in the urine to protect homeostasis. It is also possible that these differences in where the transporter is found may help explain why mice resist forming kidney stones.

Source:

Landry GM, Furrow E, Holmes HL, Hirata T, Kato A, Williams P, Strohmaier K, Gallo CJR, Chang M, Pandey MK, Jiang H, Bansal A, Franz M-C, Montalbetti N, Alexander MP, Cabrero P, Dow JAT, DeGrado TR, Romero MF. Cloning, function, and localization of human, canine, and Drosophila ZIP10 (SLC39A10), a Zn2+ transporter. American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology. 316(2): F263-F273, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajprenal.00573.2017

Categories: Comparative Physiology

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s