The neuroprotective potential of turmeric rhizome and bitter melon on aspartame-induced spatial memory impairment in rats

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Abstract

Aspartame is widely used artificial sweetener. However, chronic exposure to aspartame led to spatial memory impairment and elevated oxidative stress in the brain. Extract of turmeric rhizome (Curcuma longa) (TUR) and extract of bitter melon (Momordica charantia) (BM) is known to have antioxidant activity. The present study was aimed to examine the neuroprotective potential of TUR and BM extracts, either as single or as combination, against the effects of aspartame in the brain. Here, Sprague-Dawley rats fed with aspartame (40 mg/kg BW) for 28 days were compared with rats fed with extract and aspartame. To assess neuroprotective potential, rats were given extract 7 days before and during aspartame treatment. Spatial memory was assessed with Morris water maze test followed with H&E staining of hippocampal region. Brain lipid peroxidation and enzymatic activity of malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) were measured to probe status of oxidative stress in the brain. Aspartame-treated rats demonstrated spatial memory impairment and reduced number of hippocampal cells and elevated levels of MDA, downregulated activity of GPx and elevated activity of AChE. In contrast, animals received both aspartame and extract demonstrated better spatial memory function, higher number of hippocampal areas, increased GPX activity, reduced MDA levels, and decreased AChE activity were observed in the brain of extract-treated rats. Taken together, our results suggest that extract of TUR rhizome and BM fruit exhibit antioxidant activity which may contribute to the neuroprotective effects against aspartame-induced memory impairment in rats.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21693
JournalHeliyon
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Antioxidant
  • Curcuma longa
  • Momordica charantia
  • Morris water maze
  • Neuroprotective
  • Oxidative stress

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