Role of tissue trace elements in liver cancers and non-cancerous liver parenchyma

Takashi Maeda, Mitsuo Shimada, Norifumi Harimoto, Eiji Tsujita, Shin Ichiro Maehara, Tatsuya Rikimaru, Shinji Tanaka, Ken Shirabe, Yoshihiko Maehara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aims: The role of trace elements in liver fibrosis, carcinogenesis and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has not yet been clarified. The aim of this study is to analyze the characteristics of trace elements in liver cancers and non-cancerous liver and to discuss their role in hepatic fibrosis, hepatocarcinogenesis and progression of HCC. Methodology: The amount of zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), and copper (Cu) in 20 HCCs, 2 cholangiocellular carcinomas (CCC), 7 metastatic liver cancers (Meta) and their non-tumorous liver parenchyma were measured using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Results: The amounts of Zn and Fe in non-tumorous liver parenchyma were reduced by liver fibrosis, and the amounts were lower in HCC tissue compared to non-tumorous liver parenchyma. The amounts of Zn and Cu were higher in HCC than the amounts found in CCC and Meta. The amount of Zn in HCC tissue decreased, but the amount of Fe increased in tumors more than 4cm in diameter. Conclusions: These results suggest that the decrease in the amount of Zn and Fe found in non-tumorous liver parenchyma correlates with liver fibrosis leading to cirrhosis and hepatocarcinogenesis. Also that decreases in Zn and increases of Fe in HCC tissue correlates with HCC tumor progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-190
Number of pages4
Issue number61
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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