Effects of sulforaphane and vitamin E on cognitive disorder and oxidative damage in lead-exposed mice hippocampus at lactation

J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2017 Dec:44:88-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2017.06.004. Epub 2017 Jun 15.


Object: To investigate the effects of sulforaphane (SFN) and vitamin E (VE) on spatial learning and memory ability and oxidative damage of hippocampus in lead-exposed mice at lactation.

Methods: A total of 18 adult Kunming mice, all 12 female mice were divided into two groups by body weight randomly, 10 mice drank water containing 0.2% lead acetate at lactation, the other 2 mice drank lead free deionized water named as the normal group. Then, they were mated at a 1:2 ratio of male to female. After weaning, the pups were divided into 5 groups by weight randomly (10 each group): normal saline (NS) group, corn oil (CO) group, SFN group, VE group and SFN+VE group. They were subject to gavage daily for four weeks. Gavage doses of SFN and VE were 25mg/kg and 30 IU/kg respectively. Meanwhile, 10 pups of the normal group were selected randomly as the control (C) group. The C group was normally raised for 4 weeks. The spatial learning and memory ability of them were evaluated by the Morris water maze test, and the lead level in the blood was determined by polarography. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and malondialdehyde (MDA) level in hippocampus were measured by the kits.

Results: Compared with the NS and CO groups, the lead level in the blood of SFN and SFN+VE group had a significant decrease. In water maze test, the mice treated with SFN or/and VE performed better than mice of the NS and CO groups. In addition, a remarkable decrease in MDA level was found in mice treated with SFN or/and VE than those in NS and CO groups. What's more, there was no statistical distinction of SOD activity in SFN group than that of NS group. SOD activity significantly increased was observed in VE and SFN+VE groups than that of CO group.

Conclusion: Sulforaphane and vitamin E could ameliorate cognitive decline and oxidative damage in pups with lead exposure at lactation from maternal milk.

Keywords: Cognition; Lead; Neurotoxicity; Oxidative stress; Sulforaphane; Vitamin E.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cognition Disorders / blood
  • Cognition Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Cognition Disorders / pathology*
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Isothiocyanates / pharmacology
  • Isothiocyanates / therapeutic use*
  • Lactation*
  • Lead / blood
  • Mice
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Sulfoxides
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use*


  • Isothiocyanates
  • Sulfoxides
  • Vitamin E
  • Lead
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • sulforaphane