Sleep deprivation induces oxidative stress and impairs learning and memory processes. Vitamin E, on the other hand, is a strong antioxidant that has neuroprotective effect on the brain. In this study, we examined the potential protective effect of chronic administration of vitamin E on chronic sleep deprivation-induced cognitive impairment. In addition, possible molecular targets for vitamin E effects on chronic sleep deprivation-induced cognitive impairment were determined. Sleep deprivation was induced in rats using modified multiple platform model. Vitamin E (100mg/kg) was administered to animals by oral gavage. Behavioral study was conducted to test the spatial learning and memory using the radial arm water maze (RAWM). In addition, the hippocampus was dissected out and antioxidant markers including glutathione (GSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG) and GSH/GSSG, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were assessed. The results of this project revealed that chronic sleep deprivation impaired both (short- and long-term) memories (P<0.05), while vitamin E treatment prevented such effect. Additionally, vitamin E normalized chronic sleep deprivation-induced reduction in the hippocampus GSH/GSSG ratio, and activity of catalase, SOD, and GPx. In conclusion, sleep deprivation induces memory impairment, and treatment with vitamin E prevented this impairment probably through its antioxidant action in the hippocampus.
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