Zn and Cu alteration in connection with astrocyte metallothionein I/II overexpression in the mouse brain upon physical stress.

Research paper by Mariano M Beltramini, Cristina C Di Pisa, Pamela P Zambenedetti, Werner W Wittkowski, Eugenio E Mocchegiani, Massimo M Musicco, Paolo P Zatta

Indexed on: 13 May '04Published on: 13 May '04Published in: Glia


The distribution of metallothioneins I/II in the mouse brain and their specific area distribution upon physical stress were studied. To induce physical stress, groups of mice were subjected to total darkness for different periods (2 weeks, 1 month, and 2 months). The concentration of metallothioneins, evaluated by immunohistochemistry, as well as area-specific protein expression, were found in the following quantitative order: corpus striatum, cerebellum, mesencephalon, hippocampus with fornix, parts of thalamus, and pons. All other brain areas were marginally affected, or even unaffected, in terms of immunopositive metallothionein reaction. Metallothionein I/II expression was compared with the immunopositivity of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). It is noteworthy that metallothioneins and GFAP are expressed in different types of astrocytes.