TitleVitamin E: necessary nutrient for neural development and cognitive function.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsTraber MG
JournalProc Nutr Soc
Date Published2021 Apr 26

Vitamin E, discovered in 1922, is essential for pregnant rats to carry their babies to term. However, 100 years later, the molecular mechanisms for the vitamin E requirement during embryogenesis remain unknown. Vitamin E's role during pregnancy has been difficult to study and thus, a vitamin E-deficient (E-) zebrafish embryo model was developed. Vitamin E deficiency in zebrafish embryos initiates lipid peroxidation, depletes a specific phospholipid (DHA-phosphatidyl choline), causes secondary deficiencies of choline, betaine and critical thiols (such as glutathione), and dysregulates energy metabolism. Vitamin E deficiency not only distorts the carefully programmed development of the nervous system, but it leads to defects in several developing organs. Both the α-tocopherol transfer protein and vitamin E are necessary for embryonic development, neurogenesis and cognition in this model and likely in human embryos. Elucidation of the control mechanisms for the cellular and metabolic pathways involved in the molecular dysregulation caused by vitamin E deficiency will lead to important insights into abnormal neurogenesis and embryonic malformations.

Alternate JournalProc Nutr Soc
PubMed ID33896432