The Effect of Zinc Deficiency and Zinc Supplement in Female Rats' Regime on Learning, Memory and Motor Function of Their Offspring in Morris Water Maze



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of two regimes during rats' gestation and lactation on learning, memory and motor function of their offspring. For this purpose, female rats (Albino-Wistar) were obtained from Pasteur Institute, Iran. After mating, 12 pregnant rats were divided into three groups and they had their special regimes during their last week of pregnancy as well as their lactation. Control group used a standard diet, the zinc deficient (ZnD) group a diet deficient in zinc and the zinc supplement (ZnS) group a standard diet and enhanced zinc (10ppm) in their drinking water. 12 male offspring in each group were selected as the statistical sample and they were tested for learning and memory in MWM on their 56th natal day (ND) and were tested for motor activity in open-field on their 66th natal day. One-way ANOVA, post hoc Tukey test and repeated measures ANOVA were used to analyze the data (P<0.05). These findings showed that zinc deficiency during the last week of pregnancy and during lactation impaired learning and memory of their offspring and had also a negative effect on motor function. In addition, zinc supplement had a significant effect on learning and memory but no effect on motor function of their offspring.