Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 165, Issue 1, pp 67–74 | Cite as

Protective Effect of Selenium Against Aluminum Chloride-Induced Alzheimer’s Disease: Behavioral and Biochemical Alterations in Rats

  • B. V. S. LakshmiEmail author
  • M. Sudhakar
  • K. Surya Prakash


In present study, selenium was selected for evaluating effect of selenium on aluminum chloride (AlCl3)-induced Alzheimer’s disease in rats. Thirty Wistar rats were divided into five groups of six in each. Group I (control) received distilled water, group II—AlCl3 (100 mg/kg, p.o.), group III—selenium (1 mg/kg, p.o.), group IV—AlCl3 + vitamin E (100 mg/kg, p.o. + 100 mg/kg, p.o.), and group V—AlCl3 + selenium (100 mg/kg, p.o. + 1 mg/kg, p.o.) for 21 days. At end of experiment, various behavioral, biochemical, and histopathological assessments were carried out. The animals showed increase in time to reach platform in Morris water maze and decreased step-down latencies in passive avoidance test indicating learning and memory impairment in aluminum chloride-treated group, but administration of selenium decreased time to reach platform in Morris water maze, increased step-down latencies, and strengthened its memory action in drug-treated animals. There was decrease in muscle strength measured by rotarod test indicating motor incoordination and decrease in locomotor activity assessed by actophotometer test in AlCl3 control group, whereas in selenium–AlCl3 group, there was improvement in muscle strength and locomotion. Biochemical analysis of the brain revealed that chronic administration of AlCl3 significantly increased lipid peroxidation and decreased levels of acetyl cholinesterase, catalase, reduced glutathione and glutathione reductase, an index of oxidative stress process. Administration of selenium attenuated lipid peroxidation and ameliorated the biochemical changes. There were marked changes at subcellular level observed by histopathology studies in AlCl3 group, and better improvement in these changes was observed in selenium + AlCl3group. Therefore, this study strengthens the hypothesis that selenium helps to combat oxidative stress produced by accumulation of AlCl3 in the brain and helps in prophylaxis of Alzheimer’s diseases.


Alzheimer’s disease Acetyl cholinesterase Morris water maze Locomotor activity Passive avoidance test 









Per oral


Alzheimer’s disease


Step-down latency


Phenyl methyl sulfonylfluoride


Acetyl cholinesterase


Ethylene diamine-tetra-acetic acid


Aluminum chloride


Dithiobis nitrobenzoic acid





The authors are thankful to the authorities of Malla Reddy College of Pharmacy, Secunderabad, for providing support to this study.

Conflict of Interest

All the authors declare that there are no competing financial interests in relation to the work, and it was not funded by any organizations.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. V. S. Lakshmi
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Sudhakar
    • 1
  • K. Surya Prakash
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyMalla Reddy College of PharmacySecunderabadIndia

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