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Effects of maternal dietary supplementation with selenite on the postnatal development of rat offspring exposed to methyl mercury in utero

, : Effects of maternal dietary supplementation with selenite on the postnatal development of rat offspring exposed to methyl mercury in utero. Pharmacology & Toxicology. 72(6): 377-382

Female Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a control standard diet or a selenite (Se) supplemented diet (1.3 p.p.m. Se) for 8 weeks before mating and during gestation and lactation. Blood glutathione peroxidase activity (GSH-Px) was measured as a biomarker of Se in dames. After mating, the females from two dietary groups were divided into three subgroups (6 groups with 10 animals in each) given 0 (vehicle), 2 or 6 mg/kg methyl mercury (MeHg) by gavage on days 6-9 of gestation. Day 2 post parturition all litters were standardized to 6 pups per litter and remaining pups were used for determination of blood and brain total Hg contents. Behavioural testing was performed at two months of age. The results of the study showed that supplementing the diet with Se partly antagonized some adverse effects of the MeHg such as hypoactivity especially in the high MeHg dose group. There were no changes in physical development or body weight except a tendency to decreased body weight in offspring of mothers exposed to 6 mg Hg/kg. The GSH-Px activity was significantly increased in animals fed on Se supplemented diet. The dietary Se supplementation resulted in considerably increased concentrations of mercury in the blood of the offspring despite milder signs of CNS toxicity and no increase in brain concentrations of mercury.


PMID: 8395689

DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0773.1993.tb01348.x

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