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Perturbations in cerebral oxygen radical formation and membrane order following vitamin E deficiency

  • Author(s): LeBel, CP
  • Odunze, IN
  • Adams, JD
  • Bondy, SC
  • et al.
Abstract

The effects of dietary vitamin E deficiency on mouse cerebral membrane order and oxygen reactive species were studied. Quantitation of vitamin E levels in several brain regions showed greatest deficiencies in striatum and cerebellum, followed by substantia nigra, and cortex. Vitamin E deficiency increased centralcore membrane order in cerebral P2 fraction, but was without effect in the superficial hydrophilic membrane domain. Oxygen radical formation was studied using the probe 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescin diacetate. Basal generation rates of oxygen reactive species were 2.5-fold higher when compared to control animals. While hepatic levels of vitamin E are much more reduced than brain levels, in deficient mice, the rate of oxygen radical formation in the liver was unaltered. This implies an especial susceptibility of the brain to deficiency of this lipophilic antioxidant vitamin. Data demonstrate that endogenous levels of free radical scavengers, such as vitamin E, may play an important role in maintaining basal oxygen radical levels and membrane intergrity. The dietary vitamin E depletion paradigm suggests that a relation exists between elevated levels of oxygen radicals and more rigid hydrophobic central-cores in cerebral membranes, effects that may play a role in mechanisms underlying the neuropathologic lesions observed following vitamin E deficiency. © 1989.

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