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Journal of Neurorestoratology  2021, Vol. 9 Issue (2): 151-163    doi: 10.26599/JNR.2021.9040015
Review Article     
The inorganic chemicals that surround us: role of tellurium, selenium and zinc on behavioural functions in mammals
Edgardo O. Alvarez1,(✉)(),Osvaldo J. Sacchi1,2,Silvia G. Ratti1,3
1Laboratorio de Epigénesis y Neuropsicofarmacología Experimental, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Católica de Cuyo, sede San Luis, Argentina
2IMBECU, CONICET, Mendoza, Argentina
3área de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
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Abstract  

Living organisms live in continuous interaction with its environment. During this process changes in one can induce adaptive responses on the other. Many factors in the environment have been studied with the notorious distinction of been rare or to be of high intensity strength in its interaction with living organisms. However, little attention has been put on some factors that have constant interaction with organisms but usually have low intensity strength, such as the case of the inorganic chemical environment that surrounds us. In this review, the interaction between the chemical element and living organisms is discussed under a theoretical model of interaction between compartments, giving attention to tellurium (Te), zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se) on some cognitive functions in human and animals. After studies in our laboratory of the phenotypic expression of the HSR (Hand Skill Relative) gene in school children community living in geographic zone rich in minerals and mines of La Rioja province, Argentine, where Te was found to be in higher non-toxic concentrations, a translational experimental model to maturing rats exposed to this trace element was made. Te was found to increase some parameters related to locomotion in an open field induced by novelty and exploratory motivation. At the same time, inhibition of lateralized responses, survival responses and social activity was also observed. Some of these changes, particularly those related to lateralization had similarity with that found previously in children of La Rioja province. Discussion of similarities and discrepancies of biologic effects between animals and humans, about the possible meaning of Te and its interaction with Zn and Se with relevance to humans was analyzed.



Key wordstellurium      selenium      zinc      environment      coping behaviour     
Received: 27 March 2021      Published: 19 October 2021
Corresponding Authors: Edgardo O. Alvarez     E-mail: oroz.eoa@gmail.com
Cite this article:

Edgardo O. Alvarez,Osvaldo J. Sacchi,Silvia G. Ratti. The inorganic chemicals that surround us: role of tellurium, selenium and zinc on behavioural functions in mammals. Journal of Neurorestoratology, 2021, 9: 151-163.

URL:

http://jnr.tsinghuajournals.com/10.26599/JNR.2021.9040015     OR     http://jnr.tsinghuajournals.com/Y2021/V9/I2/151

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Fig. 1Experimental design of the intergenerational effect of Te in maturing rats. Experiment was performed in two parts. In the first one, Te was administered to the mother rat (F0) during pregnancy, delivery and lactation periods. At 21 days, maturing rats were weaned and separated from its mother, but treatment of Te continued up to 30 day-old (left side of the panel), where animals were tested for behavioural responses. F1 animals received no further treatment and remained at rest for 60 days. In the second part, male rats were discarded and F1 female rats were mated with a normal male rat (right side of the panel). At 30 days the F2 rats were subjected to the behavioural tests. Abbreviations: F0 = parental generation; F1 = first generation; F2 = second generation. Reproduced from Ref. [48], ? The authors.
Fig. 2Experimental design of the multigenerational effect of Te and folic acid in maturing rats. The first part of the experiment was the same that described in Part 1 of Fig. 1. After the behavioural measures at 30 days of the different groups, all groups remained at rest with no further Te treatment or water as control. At 90 day-old, F1-female rats were mated with a normal male (right side of the panel). Two independent groups were set. One did not receive folic acid (upper side of the panel), and the other one received folic acid (lower side of the panel). At 30 day-old, both groups were subjected to the behavioural measures.
40]) of maturing rats in the second generation, after exposure to Te in F1 generation. The DHBL is a labyrinth composed of one cubic compartment (Initial) disposed in 90° with a cubic rectangular compartment with walls on either side with lateral holes (Corridor). An open door communicates both compartments. Animals are put in the initial compartment and exploration of the corridor is displayed by the animal motivated by novelty. Exploration of one side of the wall is considered lateralized if the score significantly exceeds the exploration score of the other side. Exploration by the center of the corridor is considered without decision (non-lateralized). (A) Behavioural activity during the exploration of both walls of the corridor. Abbreviations: F1 + Te = group that received Te in the F1 generation; F2 = group from F1 parental rat receiving no treatment; F2 + Fol Ac = group from F1 parental rat receiving Folic acid. ** p < 0.01 compared with left-biased exploration. (B) Proportion of animals with left-biased exploration in rats exposed to Te in F1, and F2 generations were treated or not treated with Folic acid. Abbreviations: Control = animals with no Te treatment; F1 + Te = animals exposed to Te in the first generation; F2 = animals without folic acid treatment; F2 + Fol Ac = animals with folic acid treatment. Line of 50% = proportion of animals with no lateralized exploration (random decision). ** p < 0.01 compared with 50%; n.s. = non statistically different
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Fig. 3Lateralized behaviour in the Double-Vertical Hole Board Labyrinth (DHBL; [40]) of maturing rats in the second generation, after exposure to Te in F1 generation. The DHBL is a labyrinth composed of one cubic compartment (Initial) disposed in 90° with a cubic rectangular compartment with walls on either side with lateral holes (Corridor). An open door communicates both compartments. Animals are put in the initial compartment and exploration of the corridor is displayed by the animal motivated by novelty. Exploration of one side of the wall is considered lateralized if the score significantly exceeds the exploration score of the other side. Exploration by the center of the corridor is considered without decision (non-lateralized). (A) Behavioural activity during the exploration of both walls of the corridor. Abbreviations: F1 + Te = group that received Te in the F1 generation; F2 = group from F1 parental rat receiving no treatment; F2 + Fol Ac = group from F1 parental rat receiving Folic acid. ** p < 0.01 compared with left-biased exploration. (B) Proportion of animals with left-biased exploration in rats exposed to Te in F1, and F2 generations were treated or not treated with Folic acid. Abbreviations: Control = animals with no Te treatment; F1 + Te = animals exposed to Te in the first generation; F2 = animals without folic acid treatment; F2 + Fol Ac = animals with folic acid treatment. Line of 50% = proportion of animals with no lateralized exploration (random decision). ** p < 0.01 compared with 50%; n.s. = non statistically different
Fig. 4Social interaction activity of maturing rats in the second generation (F2), after Te exposure of its parents in the first generation in the Resident/Intruder Test. Target animal is put in a larger steel cage with wood shavings alone during 2 min. At min 3, a new intruder rat about the same size and sex is put into the cage for social interaction during an additional 3 min period. All behaviours of interaction are measured. The total duration of the test was 5 min. ** p < 0.01 compared to control group.
Fig. 5Surviving responses in the forced swimming test of maturing rats in the second generation (F2), after Te exposure of its parents in the first generation. Animals were put in a plastic cylinder with water at room temperature and the active swimming activity, and its periods of immobilization are measured in a 3 min duration test. ** p < 0.01 compared to control animals. Immobilization behaviour and the active swimming activity represent the total behavioural activity showed by each animal.
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[1] Silvia G. Ratti,Osvaldo J. Sacchi,Edgardo O. Alvarez. Behavioural multigenerational effects induced by the administration of very low doses of zinc during pregnancy, lactation, and prepuberal period in the rat[J]. Journal of Neurorestoratology, 2021, 9(1): 72-80.
[2] Silvia G. Ratti, Osvaldo J. Sacchi, Edgardo O. Alvarez. Lateralized spontaneous exploratory behavior in maturing rats induced by new geometrically differentiated environments after administration with trace elements[J]. Journal of Neurorestoratology, 2019, 7(4): 223-234.
[3] Silvia G. Ratti, Edgardo O. Alvarez. Differential effects of zinc and tellurium on epigenetic changes of coping behaviour in maturing rats[J]. Journal of Neurorestoratology, 2019, 7(1): 37-46.
[4] Silvia G. Ratti, Renata G. Lario, Edgardo O. Alvarez. Lateralized display of spontaneous exploratory behaviour induced by novelty in intact rats: Effects of geometrically different environments[J]. Journal of Neurorestoratology, 2018, 6(1): 93-98.