Zinc in the physiology and pathology of the CNS

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2009 Nov;10(11):780-91. doi: 10.1038/nrn2734. Epub 2009 Oct 14.


The past few years have witnessed dramatic progress on all frontiers of zinc neurobiology. The recent development of powerful tools, including zinc-sensitive fluorescent probes, selective chelators and genetically modified animal models, has brought a deeper understanding of the roles of this cation as a crucial intra- and intercellular signalling ion of the CNS, and hence of the neurophysiological importance of zinc-dependent pathways and the injurious effects of zinc dyshomeostasis. The development of some innovative therapeutic strategies is aimed at controlling and preventing the damaging effects of this cation in neurological conditions such as stroke and Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cations, Divalent / adverse effects
  • Cations, Divalent / pharmacology
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Central Nervous System / cytology
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System / pathology*
  • Central Nervous System / physiology*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / metabolism*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / pathology*
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Zinc / adverse effects
  • Zinc / metabolism
  • Zinc / physiology*


  • Cations, Divalent
  • Zinc