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J Reprod Dev. 2011 Dec;57(6):708-14. Epub 2011 Sep 16.

Effects of antioxidant supplementation on duodenal Se-Met absorption in ethanol-exposed rat offspring in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Zoology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Seville, 41012 Seville, Spain.


The nutritional deficiencies provoked by ethanol consumption, during gestation or lactation, can contribute to multiple birth defects in offspring. In order to improve our knowledge about selenium (Se) distribution in pups exposed to ethanol, the present study evaluated the effect of this drug on intestinal development and determined its action on duodenal absorption of selenomethionine (Se-Met). To determinate if supplementation could improve Se absorption and its serum values, we used two antioxidant supplemented regimens on dams, with selenium alone or selenium plus folic acid, and obtained six groups of pups: C (control), A (alcohol), CS (control + Se), AS (alcohol + Se), CFS (control + Se + folic acid) and AFS (alcohol + Se + folic acid). Duodenal Se-Met transport was performed using an in vivo perfusion method. Se levels were measured by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. The supplemented diets utilized had a positive influence on body growth, duodenal perimeter and Se content in ethanol-exposed pups. Ethanol exposure increased Se-Met duodenal absorption in all pups, supplemented or not, presenting the highest values of maximal velocity (V(max)) compared with their control counterparts. The affinity constant (K(m)) increased according to rank: A>AS>AFS groups. These results suggest that although antioxidant supplementation does not restore Se-Met absorption to normal values, it enhances the affinity of the transporters for the substrate and improves the damage caused by ethanol in the duodenal mucosa.

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