Iron deficient and manganese supplemented diets alter metals and transporters in the developing rat brain

Stephanie J. Garcia, Kristin Gellein, Tore Syversen, Michael Aschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Manganese (Mn) neurotoxicity in adults can result in psychological and neurological disturbances similar to Parkinson's disease, including extrapyramidal motor system defects and altered behaviors. Iron (Fe) deficiency is one of the most prevalent nutritional disorders in the world, affecting approximately 2 billion people, especially pregnant and lactating women, infants, toddlers, and adolescents. Fe deficiency can enhance brain Mn accumulation even in the absence of excess Mn in the environment or the diet. To assess the neurochemical interactions of dietary Fe deficiency and excess Mn during development, neonatal rats were exposed to either a control diet, a low-Fe diet (ID), or a low-Fe diet supplemented with Mn (IDMn) via maternal milk during the lactation period (postnatal days [PN] 4-21). In PN21 pups, both the ID and IDMn diets produced changes in blood parameters characteristic of Fe deficiency: decreased hemoglobin (Hb) and plasma Fe, increased plasma transferrin (Tf), and total iron binding capacity (TIBC). Treated ID and IDMn dams also had decreased Hb throughout lactation and ID dams had decreased plasma Fe and increased Tf and TIBC on PN21. Both ID and IDMn pups had decreased Fe and increased copper brain levels; in addition, IDMn pups also had increased brain levels of several other essential metals including Mn, chromium, zinc, cobalt, aluminum, molybdenum, and vanadium. Concurrent with altered concentrations of metals in the brain, transport proteins divalent metal transporter-1 and transferrin receptor were increased. No significant changes were determined for the neurotransmitters gamma aminobutyric acid and glutamate. The results of this study confirm that there is homeostatic relationship among several essential metals in the brain and not simply between Fe and Mn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-214
Number of pages10
JournalToxicological Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain
  • Development
  • Iron deficiency
  • Manganese
  • Metal transport
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


Dive into the research topics of 'Iron deficient and manganese supplemented diets alter metals and transporters in the developing rat brain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this