Scope: The involvement of zinc in multiple physiological systems requires tight control of cellular zinc concentration. This study aims to explore the relationships among selected mediators of cellular zinc homeostasis in an apparently healthy (AH) population and a cohort with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Methods and results: Baseline data of three trials forming two cohorts, AH (n = 70) and T2DM (n = 42), were used for multivariate analyses to identify groupings within ten zinc transporter and metallothionein (MT) gene expressions, stratified by health status. Multiple regression models were used to explore relationships among zinc transporter/MT groupings and plasma zinc. Gene expression of zinc transporters and MTs, with the exception of ZnT6, were significantly lower in the T2DM cohort (p < 0.01). Cluster analysis showed that the groupings of zinc transporters and MTs were largely similar between the two cohorts, with the exception for ZnT1 and ZIP7. Zinc transporters and MTs were significant determinants of plasma zinc (r2 = 0.48, p = 0.001) in the AH cohort, but not in the T2DM cohort.
Conclusion: The current study suggests altered cellular zinc homeostasis in T2DM and supports the use of multiple zinc transporters and MTs groupings to further understand zinc homeostasis in health and T2DM.
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus