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The brain is reportedly sensitive to monosodium glutamate (MSG) toxicity via oxidative stress. Sida acuta leaf ethanolic extract (SALEE) possesses antioxidant activity which can mitigate this neurotoxicity. The present study investigated the possible protective effect of SALEE on MSG-induced toxicity in rats. Twenty-six female rats were randomized into four groups: I: control, feed and water only; II: 400 mg/kg daily SALEE; III: 4 g/kg MSG daily; IV: 400 mg/kg SALEE and 4 g/kg of MSG daily. All administration was oral and lasted 14 days. On 15th day, behavioural tests were done and thereafter, rats were euthanized with injection Ketamine. Blood and biochemical parameters were assessed and brain tissue was examined with regard to histological and histomorphometric parameters. Data indicated that MSG significantly (p<0.05) elevated MDA level, reduced GSH level and the activities of SOD and CAT, reduced PCV level, and neutrophil count. MSG also distorted the micro-anatomy of cerebellar Purkinje cells and pyramidal neurons of CA3. Co-treatment of SALEE with MSG significantly (p<0.05) reversed these changes back to near control values when compared with the MSG group. Our data support the fact that MSG may be detrimental to the brain but that oral co-administration of 400 mg/kg SALEE with 4 g/kg MSG may provide relative protection from MSG-induced oxidative impairment and the microscopic alterations of the rat brain.
Keywords: Monosodium glutamate, Sida acuta ethanolic extract, neurotoxicity, oxidative stress, Purkinje neurons