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Protective effect of Eclipta alba against aluminum-induced neurotoxicity and associated memory deficits in rats

Abstract

Nitish Bhatia, Jaskarn Kaur, Masih Uzzaman Khan, Varinder Soni, Tasneem Ara, Ravi Kumar Dhawan

Aim: To evaluate the protective effect of Eclipta alba against aluminum (Al)-induced neurotoxicity and associated memory deficits in rats. Methods: Six groups of five Wistar rats each were used, and all but the normal group was administered aluminum chloride (4.2 mg/kg ip). Methanolic extract of Eclipta alba leaves was given to drug-treated groups. Anti-Alzheimer drug, donepezil, was given to the standard group. Memory impairment was evaluated on radial eight-arm maze in terms of average time spent in the correct (baited) arms and an average number of reference memory errors (RMEs) and working memory errors (WMEs) during acquisition trails and retrieval trials. Brain tissue was evaluated for lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances), superoxide anion generation, nitrite, glutathione, catalase, and total protein contents levels. Hippocampal regions of the brain tissue were evaluated histologically using hematoxylin-eosin staining. Results: Al administration resulted in a decrease in the average time spent in the correct arms and an increase in the RME and WME. Moreover, there were an increase in the levels of oxidative stress markers and a decrease in the levels of free radical scavenging enzymes. Histologically, Al administration resulted in severe neuroinflammatory changes in the hippocampal region of the brain. All the above-mentioned behavioral, biochemical, and histological effects were dose dependently reversed by administration of methanolic extract of Eclipta alba leaves at doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg po. Conclusion: Al-induced oxidative stress could be an implicating factor in neuroinflammation and dementia. Effect of Eclipta alba extract could possibly be attributed to the antioxidant activity of its phytoconstituents