Present situation of biomarkers for copper status 1-3
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Serum or plasma copper and ceruloplasmin concentrations are the most widely used laboratory indicators to evaluate copper status. Both indicators are decreased in moderate or severe copper deficiency. The activity of several cuproenzymes is decreased in mild copper deficiency. However, their use is limited by the nonexistence of standardized assays and high interindividual variability and because some of these indicators are affected by other conditions. Recently, it was shown that the protein expression of the copper chaperone for superoxide dismutase (CCS) is increased in erythrocytes of rodents with mild copper deficiency. However, no traditional laboratory indicators have been identified as potential early markers of copper excess. It is possible that the biomarkers studied so far are not sensitive enough to detect an increase in body copper before the appearance of functional or clinical effects or that the homeostatic mechanisms are so strong that no significant changes in body copper occur with mild-to-moderate copper exposure. The identification of appropriate biomarkers for early detection of an increase in body copper represents a major challenge for further research, and the development of new approaches, such as network biology, allows us to search and propose new candidates to be studied. Recently, we found thatCCSmRNAabundance in mononuclear blood cells significantly decreased after copper supplementation. The usefulness of this indicator to detect an increase in body copper should be assessed in clinical trials.
ISSN: Print ISSN: 0002-9165 Online ISSN: 1938-3207