Vitamin E can improve behavioral tests impairment, cell loss, and dendrite changes in rats' medial prefrontal cortex induced by acceptable daily dose of aspartame.
Acta Histochem. 2017 Nov 21. Epub 2017 Nov 21. PMID: 29169694
Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used in about 6000 sugar-free products. Aspartame consumption could be associated with various neurological disorders. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of aspartame onmedial Prefrontal Cortex (mPFC) as well as neuroprotective effects of vitamin E. The rats were divided into seven groups, including distilled water, corn oil, vitamin E (100mg/kg/day), and low (acceptable daily dose) and high doses of aspartame (40 and 200mg/kg/day) respectively, with or without vitamin E consumption, for 8 weeks. Behavioral tests were recorded and the brain was prepared for stereological assessments. Novel objects test and eight-arm radial maze showed impairmentoflong- and short-termmemoriesin aspartame groups. Besides, mPFC volume, infralimbic volume, neurons number, glial cells number, dendrites length per neuron,and number of spines per dendrite length were decreased by 7-61% in the rats treated with aspartame. However, neurons' number, glial cells number, and rats' performance in eight-arm radial mazes were improved by concomitant consumption of vitamin E and aspartame. Yet, the mPFC volume and infralimbic cortex were protected only in the rats receiving the low dose of aspartame+vitamin E. On the other hand, dendrites length, spines number,and novel object recognition were not protected by treatment with vitamin E+aspartame. The acceptable daily dose or higher doses of aspartame could induce memory impairments and cortical cells loss in mPFC. However, vitamin E could ameliorate some of these changes.