Objective: Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana L.) belongs to the Solanaceae family.
Physalis has many medicinal properties however, the beneficial effect of physalis in protecting against
neurotoxins has not yet been evaluated. This experimental study investigated the protective effect of
physalis juice against the oxidative damage induced by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) in the rat brain.
Methods: The degrees of protection by physalis in brain tissues were evaluated by determining the brain levels of lipid
peroxidation, nitric oxide, glutathione content and antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase, catalase,
glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase), after CCl4) induction in the presence or
absence of physalis. Adult male albino Wistar rats were divided into 4 groups, Group I served as the control group, Group
II was intraperitoneally treated with 2 ml CCl4)/kg bwt for 12 weeks, Group III was supplemented with physalis juice via
the drinking water for 12 weeks, Group IV was supplemented with physalis juice and was intraperitoneally injected
weekly with CCl4).
Results: Treatment with CCl4) was significantly associated with a disturbance in the oxidative status in the brain tissues;
this was marked by a significant (p<0.05) elevation in the lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide levels with a concomitant
reduction in glutathione content compared to the control, along with a remarkable reduction in antioxidant enzymes. The
administration of physalis along with CCl4) juice significantly (p<0.05) alleviated the changes in enzymatic antioxidant
activity when compared to the CCl4) treated group. Furthermore, physalis juice supplemention inhibited apoptosis, as
indicated by the increase of Bcl-2 immunoreactivity in brain tissue.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that physalis juice could be effective in preventing neurotoxicity and the neuroprotective
effect of physalis might be mediated via antioxidant and anti-apoptosis activities.