We investigated protective effect of sodium selenite (Se) on hypothyroidism-induced impairments in, Morris water maze (MWM), long-term potentiation (LTP) and hippocampal neurogenesis male Wistar rats aged of 2 months.
Hypothyroidism was induced by administration of propylthiouracil (Ptu, 1 mg/kg/d) solution to the rats from postnatal day 60 for 81 days with or without Se (0.5mg/kg/d). Neurogenesis was examined by Ki-67 immunohistochemical staining. Se values on plasma and hippocampus were measured with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).
Measurement of fT3 and fT4 levels confirmed that the fT3 levels, but not fT4, in Ptu-treated rats (5435.44±816.05 fg/ml, < 0.05) has returned to control values (8721.66±2567.68 fg/ml) by Se treatment (8661.65±711.43 fg/ml). Analysis of learning performance in water escape learning task showed that Se supplementation disappeared memory deficit in Ptu-treated rats as shown by significantly decreased time spent in the target quadrant (33.7±0.24% in control group; 26.1±0.48% in Ptu-group, < 0.05; 33.9±0.44 in Ptu+Se group), although there was no significant difference among groups in any measurement of learning performance on the last day. Considering LTP, Se supplementation improved the deficit in synaptic plasticity in Ptu-treated rats, as shown by significant increase in the excitatory postsynaptic potential slope (% 243±31 in control group; 172±49 in Ptu-group, < 0.05; 222±65 in Ptu+Se group) without affecting of the impairment in somatic plasticity. Se supplementation did not improve the decrease in the number of progenitor cells in the subgranular layer (SGL) of dentate gyrus (DG) of Ptu treated rats.
These findings suggest that selenium supplementation in hypothyroid patients may improve learning and memory disorders with different physiological mechanisms. Highlights Se increased serum fT3 levels and hippocampus Se levels in hypothyroid rats. Se attenuated impairment of population spike-LTP in hypothyroid rats Hypothyroidism disrupts neurogenesis process in the dentate gyrus of hippocampus. Se supplementation could not increase new born cells in hypothyroid rats.