Neuroprotective potential of Citrullus lanatus seed extract and Vitamin E against mercury chloride intoxication in male rat brain
Mercury chloride toxicity continues to be relevant in the advent of increased interest in mining activity in Nigeria. The neuroprotective potential of Citrullus lanatus seed extract (CLSE) (Watermelon seed) and vitamin E (VIT E) on mercury chloride intoxication on the frontal cerebral cortex of male rats was investigated. Forty two (42) male rats were randomized into six groups of 7 rats each. Group 1: control group received food and water; Group 2: received CLSE (200 mg/kg); Group 3: received VIT E (500 mg/kg); Group 4: received HgCl2 (4 mg/kg); Group 5: received HgCl2 (4 mg/kg) + VIT E (500 mg/kg) and Group 6: received HgCl2 (4 mg/kg) + CLSE (200 mg/kg). Treatment lasted 14 days and on 15th day of the experiment, gross morphometric, behavioural tests and brain tissue processing using paraffin wax technique were done. While gross body and brain morphometric evaluations were not significantly different, behavioural studies show that CLSE and VIT E significantly (p<0.05) increased the number of lines crossed relative to control. Histology showed that HgCl2 caused degeneration of neurons of the frontal cerebral cortex when compared with the control. Co-treatment of HgCl2 with CLSE and VIT E showed histological features of protection of cerebral neurons from mercury damage. CLSE and VIT E mitigated HgCl2–induced degeneration of frontal cerebral cortical neurons thus demonstrating their neuropotential capacity to protect cerebral cortex neurons from mercury toxicity..
Keywords: Citrullus lanatus extract, mercuric chloride, Vitamin E, rat frontal cortex, cortical