Heavy metal concentrations in hair of newly imported China-origin rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)
To evaluate the species specificity of Cd accumulation and the relationship of Cd with other essential metals and metallothionein (MT), the concentrations of Cd, Zn, Cu, and Fe in the liver and kidney and the MT concentrations in the soluble fractions of the liver and kidney were determined in Cd-uncontaminated nonhuman primates (11 species, 26 individuals) kept in a zoo and two wild-caught Japanese macaques. The compositions of metal-binding proteins in the soluble fractions were also investigated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The hepatic Cd concentration was 0.03–14.0 µg/g and the renal Cd concentration was 0.35–99.0 µg/g, both varying greatly and being higher in nonhuman primates, which were more closely related to man. The hepatic Zn concentration was 24.0–176 µg/g and the renal Zn concentration was 13.5–138 µg/g, showing 7- to 10-fold differences, and a correlation (r=0.558, p<0.01) was found between renal Zn and renal Cd concentrations. It was proved that in the liver, MT is more closely correlated with Zn (r=0.795, p<0.001) than with Cd (r=0.492, p<0.01) and that in the kidney MT is correlated with both Cd (r=0.784, p<0.001) and Zn (r=0.742, p<0.001). HPLC analysis of metals bound to MT-like protein in chimpanzees, de Brazza’s monkeys, and Bolivian squirrel monkeys showed that more than 90% of Cd in both the liver and kidney, approx 40% of Zn in liver and 28–69% of Zn in kidney were bound to MT-like protein. The higher percentage Zn was bound to high-molecular protein.