Iron is a trace element and a structural part of antioxidant enzymes, and its requirements vary according to age and gender. We hypothesized that iron deficiency (ID) leads to an increase in free radicals which mainly affect the brain, and the severity of damage would therefore be dependent on age and gender. Two groups of Wistar rats were evaluated evolutionarily: 100 rats (50 males; 50 females) with ID diet and 100 rats (50 males; 50 females) with standard diet. Both groups were offspring from mothers who were previously under the same dietary intervention. The ages studied roughly correspond to stages of human development: birth (0 postnatal day "PND" in rats), childhood (21 PND), early adolescence (42 PND), late adolescence (56 PND), and adulthood (70 PND). The following biomarkers in the brain, blood, and liver were analyzed: lipid peroxidation products (LPO), protein carbonyl content and activity of the antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. It was demonstrated that ID subjects are born with high levels of LPO in the brain and low antioxidant activity, the damage being more severe in males. After birth, antioxidant defense focuses on the central level (brain) in ID females and on the peripheral level (blood and liver) in ID males. In two critical stages of development, birth and late adolescence, antioxidant protection is insufficient to counteract oxidative damage in ID subjects. Moreover, we observed that the variability of results in the literature on oxidative stress and ID comes from gender and age of the subjects under study. With this, we can establish patterns and exact moments to carry out studies or treatments.
Última actualización: 20/09/2017