Prenatal stress-induced neurobehavioral deficits observed in offspring are multifactorial, including oxidative stress in the developing brain. The time by which the developing brain acquires self-defense against oxidative stress is not clear. Hence in the present study we aimed to evaluate the brain antioxidant status during different developing periods. Further the study also evaluates the role of the glutathione precursor, N-Acetyl cysteine (NAC) on the brain antioxidant status. Pregnant rats were subjected to restraint stress during an early or late gestational period. Another set of rats received NAC during the entire gestational period along with early or late gestational stress. The study parameters included several antioxidant studies directly from rat brain homogenate on postnatal day 24 or 48. Early or late gestational stress has caused severe oxidative stress in the developing brain on postnatal day 24 in all the parameters studied. However, brain reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and total antioxidant activity (TAO) were not affected by either early or late gestational stress on postnatal day 48, but the brain malondialdehyde (MDA) level remained high and brain glutathione reductase (GSS-Rd) level remained low on postnatal day 48. Prenatal NAC treatment has reversed the oxidative damage in all the parameters on postnatal day 24 and also the brain MDA level and GSS-Rd level on postnatal day 48. This study confirms that the growing brain acquires antioxidant capacity over time but during early postnatal development it is vulnerable to oxidative stress and related neurological consequences. N-Acetyl cysteine treatment during the prenatal period as an antioxidant supplement exerted a beneficiary effect in this study. Hence glutathione supplement in the nutritional source would be an idealistic approach to prenatal stress-induced neurological comorbidities in children.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Clinical Neurology