Acrylamide (ACR) is a water-soluble, vinyl monomer that has multiple chemical and industrial applications.
Exposure to ACR causes neuropathy and associated neurological defects including gait abnormalities and skeletal muscle
weakness, due to impaired neurotransmitter release and eventual neurodegeneration. Using in vivo and in vitro models, we
examined whether oxidative events are involved in ACR-mediated neurotoxicity and whether these could be prevented by
natural plant extracts. Administration (i.p.) of ACR in mice (40 mg/kg bw/ d for 5d) induced significant oxidative damage
in the brain cortex and liver as evidenced by elevated lipid peroxidation, reactive oxygen species and protein carbonyls.
This was associated with lowered antioxidant activities including antioxidant enzymes (catalase, glutathione-s-transferase)
and reduced glutathione (GSH) compared to untreated controls. Similarly, exposure of N27 neuronal cells in culture to
ACR (1-5 mM) caused dose-dependent neuronal death and lowered GSH. Interestingly, dietary supplementation with the
leaf powder of Bacopa monnieri (BM) (which possesses neuroprotective properties and nootropic activity) in mice for 30
days offered significant protection against ACR toxicity and oxidative damage in vivo. Similarly, pretreatment with BM
protected the N27 cells against ACR-induced cell death and associated oxidative damage. Co-treatment and pre-treatment
of Drosophila melanogaster with BM extract protected against ACR-induced locomotor dysfunction and GSH depletion.
We infer that BM displays prophylactic effects against ACR induced oxidative damage and neurotoxicity with potential
therapeutic application in human pathology associated with neuropathy.
Keywords: Acrylamide, Bacopa monnieri, glutathione, neuropathy, neurotoxicity, oxidative stress
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