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Comparative study of the possible protective effect of thymoquinone (black seeds) when compared with vitamin E on acrylamide-induced neurotoxicity in the adult guinea pig cerebellar cortex

El-Haroun, Hala

The Egyptian Journal of Histology: June 2016 - Volume 39 - Issue 2 - p 203–215
doi: 10.1097/01.EHX.0000490002.63817.1a
Original Articles

Background Acrylamide (ACR) has various industrial uses. Carbohydrate-rich food cooked at high temperature is considered a major source of ACR exposure. ACR induces central and peripheral neurotoxicity in humans and animals. Thymoquinone (TQ), the main constituent of black seeds, and vitamin E exhibit different properties such as anti- inflammatory and antioxidant activity.

Aim This study was designed to investigate the histological changes in the cerebellar cortex of guinea pigs after ACR treatment and study any possible protective role of TQ or vitamin E when given concomitantly with ACR.

Materials and methods Sixty adult guinea pigs were randomly divided into six equal groups: the control group, which was given saline; the vitamin E-treated group (200 mg/kg/day orally); the TQ-treated group (5 mg/kg/day, intraperitoneal); the ACR-treated group (50 mg/ kg/day, intraperitoneal); and two protective groups, one treated with vitamin E along with ACR and the other treated with TQ along with ACR. The protective groups received vitamin E or TQ daily 1 h before administration of ACR. At the end of the studied period, the animals were sacrificed and the right cerebellar hemispheres were used for histological and immunohistochemical studies.

Results ACR administration induced significant reduction in the number of Purkinje cells and prominent perineuronal spaces in the molecular layer around basket and stellate cells. Immunohistochemically, there was a highly significant increase in the number of apoptotic cells, highly significant increase in the number of astrocytes, and highly significant increase in the number of microglia in guinea pigs treated with ACR compared with the control groups. Concomitant administration of TQ or vitamin E with ACR displayed an observable protection against these changes.

Conclusion The results proved that the neurotoxicity induced by ACR can be alleviated by combined treatment with vitamin E or TQ.

Histology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt

Correspondence to Hala El-Haroun, MD, PhD., Histology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt Tel: +00201006601467; fax: +002035827472 e-mail:

Received February 1, 2016

Accepted May 3, 2016

© 2016 The Egyptian Journal of Histology
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