The Effect of Altered Selenium and Vitamin E Nutritional Status on Learning and Memory of Third-Generation Rats

t has been proposed that selenium (Se) and Vitamin E (Vit E) are involved synergistically in protection of cell membrane lipids from peroxidation. However, little is known about the effect of both deficiencies of Se and Vit E and toxic status of those antioxidants on the peroxidation potentionally of the brain. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of both Se and Vit E inadequate diet and Se rich diet on the learning and memory processes of third-generation young rats. Their ancestors were also fed by the same diets starting from their births. To test the learning and memory, the rats aged 60 days were trained by using automated two ways active avoidance shuttle box. The acquisition tests were terminated with training the rat from each group to be 25 trials per day during three days. Ten days after the last acquisition tests, the retention test was performed and the acquisition of the conditioned avoidance responses (CAR) of the rats was evaluated. It is demonstrated that the CAR of all rats from three groups showed a significant increase in three consecutive days while the differences observed in CAR of same sessions was not significantly different among three groups. Two types of diets also did not affect the memory process of these young rats significantly. Under the light of the present results one can suggest that, in the case of alterations in antioxidant defense status, the learning and the memory mechanisms seems to be not affected. Further researches are needed to be able to explain the possible role of oxidative stress on the mechanism of learning and memory.

Bastug M, Ayhan S, Turan B, Biol Trace Elem Res, 1998;64:151-160