Allicin alleviated learning and memory deficits caused by lead exposure at developmental stage.
Life Sci. 2019 Jun 3. Epub 2019 Jun 3. PMID: 31170417
AIMS: It is a promising approach to search the therapeutic strategies for treating lead (Pb) toxicity. Allicin, a natural compound extracted from Allium sativum (garlic), has been reported to have many beneficially biological properties. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of allicin on learning and memory function of rats exposed by lead acetate at developmental stage.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Rats received lead acetate for inducing toxicity, and gavaged with allicin to ameliorate this toxicity. Morris water maze test was performed to determine learning and memory function. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH) and methane dicarboxylic aldehyde (MDA) was measured to determine oxidative stress. Immunofluorescence was carried out to analyze GFAP-positive cells. The protein expression of ERK, p-ERK, EGFR and p-EGFR were detected using western blot.
KEY FINDINGS: We found that allicin ameliorated lead acetate-caused learning and memory deficits by promoting hippocampus astrocyte differentiation, which mainly through EGFR/ERK signaling. Moreover, allicin attenuated the increased ROS level by regulating the oxidative defense system.
SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that allicin is a potent agent able to ameliorate lead acetate-induced learning and memory deficits during early development, and may thus be useful for defeating lead acetate toxicity.