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5 . 2020

Influence of the DAT gene knockout on exchange of essential and toxic trace elements in rats


The maintenance of energy homeostasis of the body according to modern data is carried out with the active participation of dopaminergic neurons of the central nervous system. The synthesis and metabolism of dopamine (DA) occurs both in the brain and in peripheral tissues. Violation of the synthesis and metabolism of DA is considered as a link in the vicious cycle which it formed during the development of diet-induced obesity. According to modern data, a number of essential and toxic trace elements, such as Cd, Al, As, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, are actively involved in the exchange of DA in the brain and peripheral organs and tissues. One way to assess this relationship is to compare changes in the microelement status of the organism when consuming hypercaloric diets in animals with normal and impaired DA transport. The latter can be animals with a knockout of the DAT transporter gene, which performs DA reabsorption with subsequent storage in the composition of secretory granules.

The aim is a comparative study of the content of a number of essential and toxic elements in the brain, liver, and kidneys of rats that differ in the allelic variants of the DAT gene fed balanced diet and the diet with an excess of energy value.

Material and methods. The study was carried out on 30 male rats of the DAT-KO knockout line (homozygotes DAT-/- and heterozygotes DAT+/-), 8-10 weeks old, and 13 males rats of the outbred Wistar line (DAT+/+) of the same age. For 62 days the animals (6 groups) received a semi-synthetic diet containing essential elements in the salt mixture or a similar high-fat-high-carbohydrate diet (HFCD) with 30% fat and 20% fructose solution instead of drinking water. The content of 16 trace elements (Fe, Mg, Cu, Mn, Co, Se, Zn, Cr, V, Cs, Ag, Al, Cd, As, Pb, Ni) were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in the liver, kidneys, and brain of rats with a knockout of the dopamine DAT transporter gene: homozygotes (DAT -/-) and heterozygotes (DAT+/-), as well as wild-type rats (DAT+/+) of the Wistar strain.

Results and discussion. In the liver, DAT knockout led to an increase in the content of As, Cd, Co, and Cs and a decrease in Fe; in the kidneys - to an increase in the levels of Pb, As, Cd and Se, in the brain - an increase in the content of most of the studied trace elements, including Pb, As, Cs, Al and Cu.

Conclusion. Against the background of consumption of HFCD, the effect of DAT knockout on the content of a number of elements was more pronounced compared with the consumption of the control diet. The revealed changes in the trace element content in DAT knockout rats are considered in terms of the effect of DA metabolism in the central nervous system and in peripheral tissues on the status of trace elements.

Keywords:dopamine transporter, knockout, rats, trace elements, liver, kidney, brain, ICP-MS

Funding. The work was supported by the Russian Scientific Foundation (grant No. 17-16-01043).

Conflict of interest. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

For citation: Shumakova A.A., Apryatin S.A., Shipelin V.A., Efimova E.V., Fesenko Z.S., Gmoshinski I.V. Influence of the DAT gene knockout on exchange of essential and toxic trace elements in rats. Voprosy pitaniia [Problems of Nutrition]. 2020; 89 (5): 17-27. DOI: (in Russian)


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Viktor A. Tutelyan
Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Scientific Director of the Federal Research Centre of Nutrition, Biotechnology and Food Safety (Moscow, Russia)
Medicine today

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