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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2011;75(10):1894-9. Epub 2011 Oct 7.

Dietary vitamin E deficiency increases anxiety-like behavior in juvenile and adult rats.

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Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, Meiji University, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan.


Vitamin E deficiency from birth or infancy has recently been found to increase anxiety-like behavior in rodents. The present study was undertaken to elucidate the effect of dietary vitamin E deficiency on anxiety in adult rats in comparison with juvenile rats. Male Wistar rats, 3 or 10 weeks old, were divided into two groups and fed a control or vitamin E-deficient diet for 4 weeks. The results of behavioral analysis revealed that vitamin E-deficiency increased anxiety in both juvenile and adult rats. Plasma, liver, and brain α-tocopherol concentrations decreased significantly due to vitamin E deficiency in both age groups. Plasma corticosterone concentrations were higher in the vitamin E-deficient rats in response to the stress of a behavioral test. Based on these results, we conclude that dietary vitamin-E deficiency induces anxiety in adult rats as well as juvenile rats. This might be due to an elevated plasma corticosterone concentration.

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