Autometallography for Zinc Detection in the Central Nervous System

중추신경계통내 분포하는 Zinc의 조직화학적 동정

  • 조승묵 (한림대학교 의과대학 해부학교실) ;
  • ;
  • 김성준 (한림대학교 의과대학 해부학교실) ;
  • 박승국 (한림대학교 의과대학 해부학교실) ;
  • 강태천 (한림대학교 의과대학 해부학교실) ;
  • 원무호 (한림대학교 의과대학 해부학교실)
  • Published : 2000.12.01


Zinc is one of the most abundant oligoelements in the living cell. It appears tightly bound to some metalloproteins and nucleic acids, loosely bound to some metallothioneins or even as free ion. Small amounts of zinc ions (in the nanomolar range) regulate a plentitude of enzymatic proteins, receptors and transcription factors, thus rolls need accurate homeostasis of zinc ions. Zinc is an essential catalytic or structural element of many proteins, and a signaling messenger that is released by neural activity at many central excitatory synapses. Growing evidences suggest that zinc may also be a key mediator and modulator of the neuronal death associated with transient global ischemia and sustained seizures, as well as perhaps other neurological disease stoles. Some neurons have developed mechanisms to accumulate zinc in specific membrane compartment ('vesicular zinc') which can be evidenced using histochemical techniques. Substances giving a bright colour or emitting fluorescence when in contact with divalent metal ions are currently used to detect them inside cells; their use leads to the so called 'direct' methods. The fixation and precipitation of metal ions as insoluble salt precipitates, their maintenance along the histological process and, finally, their demonstration after autometallographic development are essential steps for other methods, the so called 'indirect methods'. This study is a short report on the autometallograhical approaches for zinc detection in the central nervous system (CNS) by means of a modified selenium method.