• 6-hydroxydopamine;
  • neuroprotection;
  • oxidative stress;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • selenium


Normal cellular metabolism produces oxidants that are neutralized within cells by antioxidant enzymes and other antioxidants. An imbalance between oxidant and antioxidant has been postulated to lead the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease. In this study, we examined whether selenium, an antioxidant, can prevent or slowdown neuronal injury in a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) model of Parkinsonism. Rats were pre-treated with sodium selenite (0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 mg/kg body weight) for 7 days. On day 8, 2 µL 6-OHDA (12.5 µg in 0.2% ascorbic acid in normal saline) was infused in the right striatum. Two weeks after 6-OHDA infusion, rats were tested for neurobehavioral activity, and were killed after 3 weeks of 6-OHDA infusion for the estimation of glutathione peroxidase, glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione reductase, glutathione content, lipid peroxidation, and dopamine and its metabolites. Selenium was found to be successful in upregulating the antioxidant status and lowering the dopamine loss, and functional recovery returned close to the baseline dose-dependently. This study revealed that selenium, which is an essential part of our diet, may be helpful in slowing down the progression of neurodegeneration in parkinsonism.