Gender effects on plasma and brain copper

Joseph F. Quinn, Christopher Harris, Jeffrey A. Kaye, Babett Lind, Raina Carter, Thimmappa Anekonda, Martina Ralle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The effect of gender on systemic and brain levels of copper is relatively understudied. We examined gender effects in mice and human subjects. We observed a trend to higher serum copper levels in female compared to male LaFerla triple transgenic (1399 ± 233 versus 804 ± 436 ng/mL, P = 0.06) mice, and significantly higher brain copper levels in female- versus male wild-type mice (5.2 ± 0.2 versus 4.18 ± 0.3 ng/mg wet wt, P = 0.03). Plasma copper was significantly correlated with brain copper in mice (R2=0.218; P = 0.038). Among human subjects with AD, both plasma copper (1284 ± 118 versus 853 ± 81 ng/mL, P = 0.005) and cerebrospinal fluid copper (12.8 ± 1 versus 10.4 ± 0.7 ng/mL, P = 0.01) were elevated in women compared to men. Among healthy control subjects, plasma copper (1008 ± 51 versus 836 ± 41 ng/mL; P = 0.01) was higher in women than in men, but there was no difference in cerebrospinal fluid copper. We conclude that gender differences in copper status may influence copper-mediated pathological events in the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number150916
JournalInternational Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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