Vol. 19, No. 2 (August 2010)
Zinc and Inflammation
Zinc is a group llb metal, and is of critical importance. It is second only to iron in worldwide incidence of deficiency, impacting 2 billion people in developing nations. It plays many maintenance roles in cellular metabolism and gene expression. Depending on the source, it is part of between 100 and 300 biological enzymes in the body. The cellular processes regulated by zinc, include mitosis, apoptosis, secretion and signal transduction. It is critical to a diverse group of physiological processes, such as insulin wound healing, vision, and neurotransmission. Given the wide range of functions impacted or regulated by zinc (See Figure 1 below), it can be seen that its deficiency, or even marginal deficiency can have serious health implications. In this issue, we are looking more specifically at areas in which the anti-inflammatory effect of zinc is of utmost importance. Involving things such as T Cell cytokine expression, NF kappaB signaling PPAR, COX-2 expression, and down regulation iNOS, among others. To emphasize the impact that zinc has as an anti-inflammatory activist, the following abstracts will show a variety of pathologies in which zinc can exhibit its anti-inflammatory benefits, including things, as diverse as anti-aging effects, asthma and other airway diseases, inflammatory acne, bronchiolar allergic inflammation, autoimmune disease, sickle cell anemia, and inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis.