Zinc signal in inflammation

Ming Jie Liu, Daren L. Knoell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Zinc Zinc (Zn) is essential to maintain normal health, to protect the host from damage, and to repair damage once it has occurred. Inflammation is typically defined as a response to cellular injury that is marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, heat, and pain. Inflammation Inflammation is designed to ultimately eliminate noxious agents, such as bacterial and viral pathogens, and to repair damaged tissue. The extent of inflammation that occurs following cellular injury must be tightly regulated so that danger is localized, damage is minimized, and recovery occurs expeditiously. Recent advances have established Zn as a critical component of the inflammatory response that is directly coupled to regulation of immune function. Importantly, Zn intake and the capacity to maintain normal Zn levels within the body are critical for proper regulation of immune function, host defense, and the extent of inflammation that occurs. Insufficient Zn levels within the body and particularly within key cells that are involved in host defense increase susceptibility to improper immune function, excessive inflammation, tissue damage, and failure to repair properly. As one leading example, Zn has been shown to directly regulate the extent of inflammation through interaction with the NF-κB signaling pathway, a pathway that is essential for normal immune function. In addition, Zn deficiency promotes chronic, systemic, low-grade inflammation associated with obesity and aging. It is anticipated that continued discovery of the many roles that Zn plays in controlling inflammation will yield meaningful insight for nutritional strategies that prevent or significantly reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with inflammation-based diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationZinc Signals in Cellular Functions and Disorders
PublisherSpringer Japan
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9784431551140
ISBN (Print)4431551131, 9784431551133
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adipose tissue inflammation
  • Host defense
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Innate immunity
  • NF-κB
  • Obesity
  • Sepsis
  • Zinc
  • Zinc deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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