Chronic Dietary Selenomethionine Exposure Induces Oxidative Stress, Dopaminergic Dysfunction, and Cognitive Impairment in Adult Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

The present study was designed to investigate the effects of chronic dietary exposure to selenium (Se) on zebrafish cognition and also to elucidate possible mechanism(s) by which Se exerts its neurotoxicity. To this end, adult zebrafish were exposed to different concentrations of dietary l-selenomethionine (control, 2.3, 9.7, 32.5, or 57.7 μg Se/g dry weight) for 30 days. Cognitive performance of fish was tested using a latent learning paradigm in a complex maze. In addition, we also evaluated oxidative stress biomarkers and the expression of genes involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission in the zebrafish brain. Fish treated with higher dietary Se doses (32.5 and 57.5 μg Se/g) exhibited impaired performance in the latent learning task. The impaired learning was associated with the induction of oxidative stress and altered mRNA expression of dopamine receptors, tyrosine hydroxylase, and dopamine transporter genes in the zebrafish brain. Collectively, our results illustrate that cognitive impairment in zebrafish could be associated with Se-induced oxidative stress and altered dopaminergic neurotransmission in the brain.