Background & objectives: Zinc as one of the most important trace elements is needed for proper functioning of the nervous system and homeostasis. Many studies show that stress causes memory impairment through various mechanisms, including oxidative stress induction and some mechanisms which are directly effecting brain function. So, in this work we assessed the effect of zinc chloride on passive avoidance memory and oxidative stress following acute stress in male rats.
Methods: In this study, 50 male Wistar rats were used in five groups: control, sham, stress, zinc chloride treatment and zinc chloride treatment before stress induction. For stress induction, rats were restrained (not immobilized) for 6 h/day, 7 days in a Plexiglas restrainer, and treated rats received an oral dose of zinc chloride 32 mg/kg/day by gavage for 6 days. At the end of the experiment, passive avoidance memory was avaluated by shuttle box and some oxidative damage markers were determined in all groups.
Results: Results of this study showed that animals which were exposed to stress showed a significant decrease in passive avoidance memory compared to control group (p<0.01) and the oxidative stress parameters in this group showed significant changes compared to the control group (p<0.05). While passive avoidance memory and oxidative stress parameters in group treated with zinc chloride were nearly closed to control group.
Conclusion: According to our results, zinc chloride with antioxidant properties can have a protective effect on memory impairment and oxidative stress induced by stress.