Background: Choline plays an important role in brain development. Choline-deficient diet (CDD) is known to produce (among other effects) a decrease in acetylcholine in rat brains. The aim of our study was to investigate how CDD administration during gestation and lactation could affect total antioxidant status (TAS) and activities of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), (Na+,K+)- and Mg2+-ATPase in the brains of both male and female newborn and suckling (21-day-old) rats.
Methods: Three different experiments were performed. Whole brains were obtained from: (a) newborn rats following gestational CDD (experiment I); (b) 21-day-old rats following gestational but not lactational CDD (experiment II); and (c) 21-day-old rats following gestational and lactational CDD (experiment III). Enzyme activities and TAS were measured spectrophotometrically.
Results: In choline-deprived (CD) newborn rats, TAS and AChE and Na+,K+-ATPase activities were signi-ficantly reduced by 23%, 24% and 50%, respectively, in the brains of both sexes. Gestational CDD caused only a decrease in TAS (−27%, p<0.001) in suckling rat brains in both sexes. No changes were observed for the other enzyme activities. Moreover, gestational and lactational CDD also led only to a decrease in TAS (−24%, p<0.001) in the suckling rat brains of both sexes. Mg2+-ATPase activities showed no changes after any of the experimental procedures.
Conclusions: Our data suggest that the lower enzyme activities in newborn CD brains were restored to normal after 21 days of either normal or CDD lactation, possibly due to novel synaptogenesis, endogenous neuroregulation, and/or to other substances acquired by lactation. The increase in homocysteine concentration due to choline deficiency reported in the literature may be the cause of the low antioxidant capacity observed in offspring rat brains. Brain Na+,K+-ATPase inhibition (induced by CDD) could result in modul-ations of neural excitability, metabolic energy production and neurotransmission.
Clin Chem Lab Med 2007;45:651–6.
©2007 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York