Environmental toxicology and pharmacology

Yttrium decreases the intracellular Zn2+ concentration in rat thymocytes by attenuating a temperature-sensitive Zn2+ influx.

PMID 22854244


Yttrium is used in the production of various electronic devices because the alloy it contains enhances or modifies the properties of other elements. In order to study the cytotoxic action of yttrium, the effect of yttrium chloride (YCl(3)) on the intracellular Zn(2+) level was examined in rat thymocytes using a flow cytometer with FluoZin-3-AM and propidium iodide. The application of YCl(3) significantly decreased the intensity of the FluoZin-3 fluorescence, suggesting a decrease in the intracellular Zn(2+) level or quenching of the FluoZin-3 fluorescence by Y(3+). However, since Y(3+) did not attenuate the FluoZin-3 fluorescence under cell-free conditions, the latter suggestion was ruled out. Rat thymocytes possess a temperature-sensitive membrane pathway that carries Zn(2+) into the cells. The application of YCl(3) attenuated the FluoZin-3 fluorescence augmented by externally applied ZnCl(2) in a concentration-dependent manner. This suggested that Y(3+) inhibited the Zn(2+) influx, resulting in the decrease in the intracellular Zn(2+) level. Yttrium may induce dyshomeostasis of intracellular Zn(2+), leading to some cytotoxic actions.