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The present study was undertaken to assess the effect of selenium (Se) on hypothyroidism induced by methimazole (MMI) in lactating rats and their pups. Rats were randomly divided into four groups of six each: group I served as a negative control which received standard diet; group II received orally MMI (250 mg L −1 ); group II received both MMI (250 mg L −1 , orally) and Se (0.5 mg/kg of diet); group IV served as a positive control and received Se (0.5 mg Na 2 SeO 3 /kg of diet). Treatments were started from the 14th day of pregnancy until postnatal day 14. In the MMI-exposed group, the body weight of 14-day-old pups diminished compared to controls; besides, a hypertrophy of the thyroid glands was observed. Co-administration of Se through the diet restored these parameters to near normal values. In the MMI-treated group, thyroid iodine contents and plasma thyroid hormone levels significantly decreased, while plasma TSH levels increased in pups and their mothers. These biochemical modifications corresponded histologically to closed follicles, increased vascularity and a reduction in colloid volume. Co-treatment with Se ameliorated these parameters. We concluded that the supplementation of Se in diet had beneficial effects on hypothyroidism during a critical period of life.

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Hamadi Fetoui
Hanen Bouaziz
Amira Mahjoubi-Samet
L. Soussia
F. Guermazi
, and
Najiba Zeghal

In the present study, two groups of pregnant female rats were submitted to food restriction (24 h fast versus 24 h diet intake) from the 14th day of pregnancy until either the 14th day (group B) or the 4th day after parturition (group C). All pups and their mothers were sacrificed on day 14 after delivery. The body weight of the 14-day-old pups (group B) was 46% less than the controls (group A). Free thyroxine and free triiodothyronine levels in the plasma were reduced by 44 and 16% in pups and by 20 and 36% in their mothers, respectively. These reductions were correlated with a decrease in thyroid iodine content of the pups (-50%) and their mothers (-24%). Radioiodine uptake (131I) by the thyroid gland of pups was significantly increased by 27%. Plasma TSH levels were decreased by 38% in pups and by 44% in dams. Morphological changes in thyroid glands were observed in energy restricted dams and in their pups. Some of follicles in pups were empty. Moroever in dams, we noted the presence of peripheral resorbed vacuoles, sign of thyroid hyperactivity. After a refeeding (group C) period of ten days, total recovery occurred in plasma thyroid hormone levels (FT4 and FT3) and in thyroid iodine contents of pups in spite of a partial recovery of body weights and plasma TSH levels. In dams, a partial recovery occurred in plasma thyroid hormone levels in spite of total recovery in thyroid iodine contents, while plasma TSH levels exceeded control values. A significant amelioration in thyroid histological aspects was observed in pups and their dams.

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