Landolphia owariensis Attenuates Alcohol-induced Cerebellar Neurodegeneration: Significance of Neurofilament Protein Alteration in the Purkinje Cells

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Abstract

Background: Alcohol-induced cerebellar neurodegeneration is a neuroadaptation that is associated with chronic alcohol abuse. Conventional drugs have been largely unsatisfactory in preventing neurodegeneration. Yet, multimodal neuro-protective therapeutic agents have been hypothesised to have high therapeutic potential for the treatment of CNS conditions; there is yet a dilemma of how this would be achieved. Contrarily, medicinal botanicals are naturally multimodal in their mechanism of action.

Aim: The effect of L. owariensis was therefore assessed in alcohol-induced neurodegeneration of the cerebellar cortex in rats.

Materials and methods: Two groups of rats were oro-gastrically fed thrice daily with 5 g/kg ethanol (25% w/v), and 5 g/kg ethanol (25% w/v) plus L. owariensis (100 mg/kg body weight) respectively in diluted nutritionally complete diet (50% v/v). A control group was correspondingly fed a nutritionally complete diet (50% v/v) made isocaloric with glucose. Cytoarchitectural study of the cerebellar cortex was examined with H&E. Immunocytochemical analysis was carried out with the use of monoclonal antibody anti-NF in order to detect alterations in the neuronal cytoskeleton.

Results: After 4 days of binge alcohol treatment, we observed that L. owariensis supplementation significantly lowered the levels of histologic and biochemical indices of neurodegeneration. The level of neurodegeneration and cytoarchitecture distortion of the cerebellar cortex of rats exposed to ethanol was reduced by L. owariensis. Neurofilament-immunoreactivity (NF-IR) was evoked in the Purkinje cells of rats that received L. owariensis supplement.

Conclusions: L. owariensis attenuates alcohol-induced cerebellar degeneration in the rat by alleviating oxidative stress and alteration of NF protein expression in the Purkinje cells.

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