Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.51(6) > 1111503

J Nutr Health. 2018 Dec;51(6):489-497. Korean.
Published online Dec 31, 2018.
© 2018 The Korean Nutrition Society
Effects of high-fat diet induced obesity on tissue zinc concentrations and zinc transporter expressions in mice
Byulchorong Min and Jayong Chung
Department of Food & Nutrition, College of Human Ecology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-2-961-0977, Email:
Received Oct 29, 2018; Revised Nov 16, 2018; Accepted Nov 16, 2018.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Obesity is often associated with disturbances in the mineral metabolism. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of high-fat diet-induced obesity on tissue zinc concentrations and zinc transporter expressions in mice.


C57BL/6J male mice were fed either a control diet (10% energy from fat, control group) or a high-fat diet (45% energy from fat, obese group) for 15 weeks. The zinc concentrations in the serum, stool, and various tissues were measured by inductively coupled plasma (ICP)-atomic emission spectrophotometry or ICP-mass spectrophotometry. The levels of zinc transporter mRNAs in the liver, duodenum, and pancreas were measured by real-time RT-PCR. The levels of serum adipokines, such as leptin and IL-6, were determined.


The total body weight, adipose tissue weight, and hepatic TG and cholesterol concentrations were significantly higher in the obese group, as compared to the control group. The obese group had significantly higher levels of serum leptin and pro-inflammatory IL-6 concentrations, and had significantly lower levels of serum alkaline phosphatase activity. The zinc concentrations of the liver, kidney, duodenum, and pancreas were all significantly lower in the obese group than in the control group. On the other hand, the fecal zinc concentrations were significantly higher in the obese group than in the control group. The serum zinc concentrations were not significantly different between the two groups. The ZnT1 mRNA levels of the liver and the pancreas were significantly higher in the obese group, as compared to the control group. Hepatic Zip10 mRNA was also increased in the obese group.


Our study findings suggest that obesity increases fecal zinc excretion and lowers the tissue zinc concentrations, which may be associated with alterations in the zinc transporter expressions.

Keywords: obesity; zinc; zinc transporters; adipokine; mouse


Fig. 1
The amount of total diet, energy, and zinc intakes in control and obese mice. Data are means ± SEM (n = 15/group). * indicates significant differences (p < 0.05) between two groups.
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Fig. 2
Zinc concentrations in the serum and various tissues of control and obese mice Data are means ± SEM (n = 15/group). * indicates significant differences (p < 0.05) between two groups.
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Fig. 3
Comparisons of zinc transporter mRNA levels in the (A) liver, (B) duodenum, and (C) pancreas of control and obese mice. Data are means ± SEM (n = 15/group). * indicates significant differences (p < 0.05) between two groups.
Click for larger image


Table 1
Compositions of diets used in this study
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Table 2
The primer sequences used in this study
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Table 3
Body weight changes, fat weights, and the serum and hepatic biochemical parameters in control and obese mice
Click for larger image


This work was supported by grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2017R1A2B1009697).

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