Neuroprotective effects of Bacopa monniera whole-plant extract against aluminum-induced hippocampus damage in rats: evidence from electron microscopic images.
Chin J Physiol. 2014 Oct 31 ;57(5):279-85. PMID: 25241988
John Sushma Nannepaga
Impaired antioxidant system and structural changes in hippocampus are considered as key instigators of neurodegenerative diseases. The present study aimed to investigate the antioxidant and tissue protective properties of Bacopa monniera whole-plant extract (BME) against aluminum (Al)- induced oxidative stress and hippocampus damage in rats. Male Wistar rats were evenly divided into four groups, nine in each and labeled as control, Al treated (10 mg/kg), BME administered (40 mg/kg) and combination of both Al plus BME (Al+BME) treated groups. After one month of treatment by oral administration, antioxidant status was determined, and structural changes in the hippocampus were evaluated by electron microscopy. Al-induced increased oxidative damage in the hippocampus was revealed by elevated thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). This increased lipid peroxidation was associated with significantly decreased antioxidant enzyme activities, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). However, aluminum intoxicated rats treated with BME for 30 days showed significantly restored antioxidant enzyme activities along with decreased TBARS (P<0.01). Further evidences from electron micrographs clearly indicated that Al-induced vacuolation, lipofuscin deposition and pyramidal cell degeneration in the hippocampus was attenuated with co-administration of the whole-plant extract. Our results demonstrate that structural derangement in hippocampus by aluminum is directly proportionate with increased lipid peroxidation. Nevertheless, B. monniera treatment potentiates the antioxidant status and suppressed the tissue damage induced by Al-intoxication. These findings suggest that B. monniera whole-plant extracts can be considered as a possible remedy to counteract aluminum-associated neurological disorders.