M. Bou‐Resli, T. Mathew, H. Dashti
Aug 1, 2002
Selenium is essential for normal mammalian development. Being a component of antioxidant enzyme, glutathione peroxidase, it plays a major role in protecting the cells from free radical damage. The level of glutathione peroxidase was directly related to the amount of selenium present in various tissues and organs. A decrease in selenium leads to various pathological changes in humans as well as in various laboratory animals. The aim of the present study was to understand whether there is an increase in the level of selenium in different brain regions of rat pups whose mothers were supplemented with selenium, either 2 or 4 mg/l of their drinking water throughout the period of their pregnancy. There was a significant increase in the level of selenium in the cerebellum, cortex and hypothalamic and hippocampal tissues of selenium supplemented mothers as compared with those of non‐supplemented mothers. The brain stem of these animals did not show any significant difference in the level of selenium. Furthermore, the differences in the level of selenium between the rat pups of 2 mg/l selenium supplemented mothers and 4 mg/l selenium supplemented mothers were not statistically significant. These studies suggest that supplementation of selenium to mothers during the period of their pregnancy can selectively increase the level of this trace element in different brain regions. Further studies are necessary to understand the significance of selective accumulation of selenium in specific brain regions on brain development and function.