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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have a wide variety of promising clinical applications including the treatment of brain disorders and injury, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. To fully exploit their potential, we need a better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern stem cell division and survival. We have hypothesized that the essential trace element zinc regulates the proliferation and survival of rat and human bone marrow-derived MSC. Proliferation of MSC is impaired by zinc deficiency. For example, after 48h of zinc deficiency, proliferation was reduced by 50% (p