Copper in Growth and Development
Gestation involves changes in copper metabolism and balance that allow transfer of significant amounts of copper from mother to fetus. Presumably, this occurs already very soon after implantation, as the new cells in the growing embryo will at minimum each need their complement of cytochrome oxidase for energy generation through oxidative phosphorylation (see Chapter 6). Copper may also be needed for Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase and ceruloplasmin to inhibit damage by free radicals (see Chapters 4 and 6) and for specialized enzymes in brain, connective tissue, and other areas. The maternal organism must therefore rise to the occasion, and it does so in several ways that we can currently understand may serve fetal needs.
KeywordsCopper Concentration Copper Content Serum Copper Serum Ceruloplasmin Suckling Period
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