Protective effects of ascorbic acid and garlic extract against lead-induced apoptosis in developing rat hippocampus
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Lead exposure has negative effects on developing nervous system and induces apoptosis in newly generated neurons. Natural antioxidants (i.e. Ascorbic acid and Garlic) might protect against lead-induced neuronal cell damage. The aim of the present study was to investigate the protective effects of Ascorbic acid and Garlic administration during pregnancy and lactation on lead-induced apoptosis in rat developing hippocampus. Timed pregnant Wistar rats were administrated with Lead (1500 ppm) via drinking water (Pb group) or lead plus Ascorbic acid (Pb + AA Group, 500 mg/kg, IP), or lead plus Garlic Extract (Pb + G Group, 1 ml garlic juice/100 g BW, via Gavage) from early gestation (GD 0) until postnatal day 50 (PN 50). At the end of experiments, the pups’ brains were carefully dissected. To identify neuronal death, the brain sections were stained with TUNEL assay. Mean of blood and brain lead levels increased significantly in Pb group comparing to other studied groups (P < 0.01). There was significant reduction in blood and brain lead level in Pb + AA and Pb + G groups when compared to those of Pb group (P < 0.01). The mean number of TUNEL positive cells in the CA1, CA3, and DG was significantly lower in the groups treated by either Ascorbic acid or Garlic (P < 0.05). Administration of Ascorbic acid and Garlic during pregnancy and lactation protect against lead-induced neuronal cell apoptosis in the hippocampus of rat pups partially via the reduction of Pb concentration in the blood and in the brain.
KeywordsHippocampus Lead Ascorbic acid Garlic
This paper is based on the results of Mrs. Akram Sadeghi M.Sc. thesis which financially was supported by vice chancellor for research, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (MUMS) grant (no. 89230). The authors gratefully thanks to Mrs. Motejadded for her technical assistance.
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