Effect of iron deficiency on developing rat brain
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Iron deficiency evolves, slowly through several stages. Early iron deficiency caused a depletion in iron stores as shown by a reduction in the levels of hepatic non heme iron (44%) in the 7 days old pups born to iron deficient mothers. The hemoglobin levels and PCV (packed cell volume) were significantly reduced only after the age of three weeks. The activities of GABA (γ-amino butyric acid) shunt enzymes viz. GDH, GAD and GABA-T (glutamate dehydrogenase, glutamate decarboxylase and GABA-transaminase, respectively) and GABA content were found to decrease during gestation and/or lactation iron deficiency at 1 week (wk), 2wk, 3wk and 4wk of age in the developing rat brains. However GABA binding showed a significant increase at different age groups. The iron deficiency during lactational exposure showed significant alteration in most of the parameters only at the age of 3 weeks onwards. On rehabilitation with iron supplemented diet for 2 weeks, these altered parameters could not attain corresponding control values. A prolonged iron deficiency causing alterations in GABA may lead to neurological and behavioral alterations.
KeywordsIron deficiency GABA metabolism Brain-γ-amino butyric acid
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