Passive avoidance performance of mice fed marginally or severely zinc deficient diets during post-embryonic brain development

Mari S. Golub, M. Eric Gershwin, Vijaya K. Vijayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Swiss-Webster outbred mice were fed marginally or severely zinc deficient diets (9 or 2 ppm zinc) from day 16 gestation to day 15 postnatal. Control mice were fed a 100 ppm diet either ad lib or in amounts equal to the diet intake of deprived mice (pair fed controls). Male and female offspring were tested at 70 days of age in a one-trial passive avoidance task with a 30 min train-test interval. Both marginally and severely zinc deprived offspring (but not pair fed controls) had shorter avoidance latencies than offspring of ad lib fed zinc replete controls. Zinc deprived offspring did not differ from control mice when either baseline or "stressed" (exposure to novel environment) plasma corticosterone levels were quantitated. Further, zinc staining patterns of the hippocampus (Timm-sulfide stain) were not altered in the nutritionally deprived offspring. Thus marginal dietary zinc deficiency during development can lead to impaired passive avoidance performance in adult mice. This behavioral effect is not associated with altered pituitary-adrenocortical activity or with a permanent reduction in hippocampal zinc staining. This result has significant implications for the influence of zinc deprivation in utero and in the neonatal animal on adult behavior characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-413
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1983

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • Brain development
  • Corticosteroids
  • Corticosterone
  • Diet
  • Hippocampus
  • Passive avoidance
  • Timm-sulfide stain
  • Trace elements
  • Zinc deprivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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