Applications of Zn isotopes to medical sciences
IPGP - Îlot Cuvier
Zinc is required for the function of more than 300 enzymes involved in many metabolic pathways, and is a vital micronutrient for living organisms. To investigate if Zn isotopes could be used as a tool to better understand metal homeostasis, as well as a biomarker for diseases, we assessed the distribution of natural Zn isotopes in various mouse tissues. We found that, with respect to Zn isotopes, most mouse organs are isotopically distinct, and that the total range of variation within one mouse encompasses the variations observed in the Earth's crust. We performed ab initio calcualtions and showed that this fractionation is well explained by the equilibrium distribution of isotopes between different bonding environments of Zn in different organs. We are now using Zn isotopes to trace diseases that modify the balance of Zn between different organs. Today I will present the exemple of Alzheimer's disease, that causes Zn accumulation in the brain, and for which we studied the perturbation of Zn isotope distribution in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease.