Liu, NQ (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Inst High Energy Phys, Key Lab Nucl Analyt Tech, POB 918, Beijing 100049, Peoples R China.
A large body of evidence indicates that abnormalities in the levels of iron, copper and zinc and their metabolism are associated with neurodegenerative diseases. However, it is difficult to decide whether any observed changes of trace elements reflect the primary disease process or are secondary to a primary process or mechanism. In the present study, Fe, Cu and Zn in organs of transgenic mice which express the familial Alzheimer's disease (AD) gene and normal mice of the same species and ages were determined by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry. The results show that Fe concentrations in a variety of organs and tissues were significantly increased whereas Zn concentrations decreased in the transgenic mice as compared with the 'normals'. The levels of Cu in transgenic mice were also altered. Data obtained in the present study suggest that expression of the familial AD gene in mice results in altered homeostasis of Fe, Cu and Zn in organs of the animals, which may in turn accelerate the process of neurodegeneration. Copyright (C) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.