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Biol Trace Elem Res. 2002 Summer;87(1-3):143-56.

Manganese accumulates in iron-deficient rat brain regions in a heterogeneous fashion and is associated with neurochemical alterations.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1083, USA.


Previous studies have shown that iron deficiency (ID) increases brain manganese (Mn), but specific regional changes have not been addressed. Weanling rats were fed one of three semipurified diets: control (CN), iron deficient (ID), or iron deficient/manganese fortified (IDMn+). Seven brain regions were analyzed for Mn concentration and amino acid (glutamate, glutamine, taurine, gamma-aminobutyric acid) concentrations. Both ID and IDMn+ diets caused significant (p<0.05) increases in Mn concentration across brain regions compared to CN. The hippocampus was the only brain region in which the IDMn+ group accumulated significantly more Mn than both the CN and ID groups. ID significantly decreased GABA concentration in hippocampus, caudate putamen, and globus pallidus compared to CN rats. Taurine was significantly increased in the substantia nigra of the IDMn+ group compared to both ID and CN. ID also altered glutamate and glutamine concentrations in cortex, caudate putamen, and thalamus compared to CN. In the substantia nigra, Mn concentration positively correlated with increased taurine concentration, whereas in caudate putamen, Mn concentration negatively correlated with decreased GABA. These data show that ID is a significant risk factor for central nervous system Mn accumulation and that some of the neurochemical alterations associated with ID are specifically attributable to Mn accumulation.

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