September 1979

Zinc Therapy of Depressed Cellular Immunity in Acrodermatitis EnteropathicaIts Correction

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Oleske, Shore, Gorden, and Nahmias) and Dermatology (Dr Westphal), Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School, St Michael's Medical Center (Drs Oleske and Bogden), Newark, and the Carbondale Clinic (Dr Westphal), Carbondale, Ill.

Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(9):915-918. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130090043007

• A child with hypogammaglobulinemia and intractable diarrhea underwent parenteral alimentation for five months. A clinical syndrome of acrodermatitis enteropathica subsequently developed associated with a depression in thymus-dependent lymphocyte (T cell) numbers, abnormal T-cell mitogen-induced blast transformation, and anergy to skin test antigens. Plasma zinc levels were found to be abnormally low. Zinc therapy resulted in dramatic resolution of the clinical manifestations of acrodermatitis enteropathica. Cell-mediated immune function was also restored to normal, suggesting an important role for zinc and possibly other trace metals in cellular immune responses.

(Am J Dis Child 133:915-918, 1979)