African Journal of Biomedical Research

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Whey protein concentrate and dexamethasone protected rat cerebellum from gamma-radiation injury

O.A. Onatola, O. Owoeye, T.N. Elumelu, M.T. Shokunbi, O.A. Malomo


The possible radioprotective effect of Immunocal® (whey protein]) supplement and dexamethasone on gamma-irradiated cerebellar tissue of Wistar rat was  investigated in this study. Forty male albino rats were acclimatized and randomized  into four groups of 10 animals each. Group I rats served as control; Group II:  received 2.5 Gy of gamma-radiation; Group III: received Immunocal® (286mg/kg)  for 14 days, then 2.5 Gy gamma rays on day15 of experiment; Group IV: received  dexamethasone (1mg/kg) i.p daily for 3 days, then 2.5 Gy gamma rays. All rats were euthanized 14 days post-irradiation. Rat brains were fixed in 10% formalin,  processed with routine paraffin wax techniques and stained with Haematoxylin and  Eosin. Histomorphometric studies showed that radiation significantly (p< 0.05)  reduced the thickness of both the molecular and granular layers of the cerebellum  when compared with the control group. This reduction was significantly (p< 0.05)  increased in animals pretreated with Immunocal® and dexamethasone before  irradiation. The densities of the Purkinje and outer stellate cells were significantly  (p< 0.05) reduced in the irradiated animals compared with the control. The Purkinje cells and outer stellate cells were significantly increased (p< 0.05) in animals of  Radiation + Immunocal® and Radiation + Dexamethasone groups relative to the  radiation group. In conclusion, data from the present study showed that  pre-treatment with Immunocal® and dexamethasone before exposure to a single dose of 2 Gy of gamma radiation on the 15th day of the experiment, protected rat’s cerebellum from gross and histological alterations from radiation injury.

Keywords: Radioprotection, Immunocal®, Dexamethasone, Cerebellum, Purkinje cells

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