The effect of valproic acid on 65Zn distribution in the pregnant rat

C. L. Keen, J. M. Peters, L. S. Hurley

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The effect of valproic acid on the distribution of gavaged 65Zn in maternal and embryonic tissue of Sprague-Dawley rats was examined 24 h after gavaging of the drug on d 13 of pregnancy. Valproic acid treatment resulted in a significantly higher retention of 65Zn in maternal liver and lower amounts in uterus, placenta and embryos than in controls. Compared to controls, gel chromatography of maternal liver from valproic acid-treated dams showed higher 65Zn counts associated with a protein peak of molecular weight of 6,500, the approximate molecular weight of the Zn-binding protein metallothionein. These results support the idea that the teratogenicity of valproic acid is in part due to an induction of embryonic Zn deficiency secondary to a drug-induced sequestering of Zn into maternal liver that results in a decrease in maternal plasma Zn and subsequent reduction in embryonic Zn uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-611
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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