Nutr Neurosci 2001;4(3):213-22
Paterson PG, Lyon AW, Kamencic H, Andersen LB, Juurlink BH.
College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, Cameco Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroscience Research Center, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.
Dietary sulfur amino acid content is a major determinant of glutathione concentration in some tissues.
We examined whether brain glutathione (GSH), a key component of antioxidant defense important for minimizing ischemic injury, was also responsive to short-term sulfur amino acid deficiency.
Female Long-Evans adult rats were fed a sulfur-deficient L-amino acid defined diet for five days; the control diet was supplemented with L-cystine and L-methionine (n = 6).
Sulfur amino acid deficiency was confirmed by a reduction in liver cysteine and GSH concentrations, marked decreases in food intake, and weight loss.
GSH concentration analyzed by reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography was significantly depressed in the neocortex and thalamus of deficient rats.
Brain cysteine was not decreased in a parallel manner.
Classical glutathione peroxidase activity was increased in the liver and brain of sulfur amino acid deficient rats.
This suggests an upregulation of antioxidant defense but these findings may be complicated by alterations in tissue composition.
The depletion of brain GSH by a reduced supply of dietary precursors may be important during brain ischemia when the rate of GSH utilization and the need for synthesis are increased.