Plasma zinc assay is the most commonly used bio-marker of zinc deficiency. This assay, however, is neither specific nor sensitive. In this paper we described a very specific and sensitive assay for zinc deficiency in human subjects. We developed a test in which gene expression of IL-2 is corrected by simple in vitro addition of physiological amounts of zinc to mononuclear cells isolated from the zinc deficient subjects. We believe that this test may be a very important bio-marker of human zinc deficiency.
Prasad, A.S., Bao, B., Beck, F.W.J., Sarkar, F.H. Correction of IL-2 gene expression by in vitro zinc addition to MNC from zinc deficient human subjects: A specific test for zinc deficiency in humans. Translation Research 148(6): 325-333, 2006.