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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557

Abstract

NUNES, Magda Lahorgue; BATISTA, Bianca Brum; MICHELI, Flávia  and  BATISTELLA, Vinicius. Effects of early malnutrition and nutritional rehabilitation in rats. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2002, vol.78, n.1, pp. 39-44. ISSN 0021-7557.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572002000100009.

Objective: to verify the effects of malnutrition and nutritional rehabilitation regarding seizure threshold, body weight and brain weight in rats. Methods: pregnant Wistar rats and their pups were used. Part of the rat pups were submitted to a malnutrition protocol and the rest served as nourished controls. At P15, malnourished and control rats were submitted to status epilepticus induced by flurothyl; and the rehabilitation period started after recovery from seizures. At P30, all rats were submitted to single flurothyl-induced seizures and the threshold was determined. After the seizures, the rats were sacrificed, the brain removed and weighed. Rat pups were weighed daily from age P2 to P30.Results: significant differences as to body weight between malnourished and nourished rats were observed from P5 onwards. At P30, even after nutritional rehabilitation, there were still differences in terms of body weight. Nourished (mean 1.47 g ± 0.17) and male (mean 1.47 g ± 0.16) rats had brain weight slightly higher than that presented by malnourished (mean 1.42 g ± 0.17) and female (mean 1.38 g ± 0.12) rats; however, the difference was not significant. Differences observed in the threshold for the first clonic and tonic seizure at ages P15 and P30 between the groups were not statistically significant.Conclusions: our results suggest that malnutrition does not influence seizure threshold in rat pups submitted to flurothyl-induced seizures. Early nutritional rehabilitation seems to have a protective effect on seizure threshold in previously malnourished animals.

Keywords : epilepsy; malnutrition; nutrition rehabilitation.

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