The potent neurotoxic agent acrylamide (ACR) is formed during Maillard reaction in food processing. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a major bioactive component of green tea, is an antioxidant, but its effects on ACR-induced neurotoxicity are unclear. Here, we investigated the neuroprotective effects of EGCG against ACR-induced apoptosis and astrogliosis in the cerebral cortex. Rats were pretreated with EGCG for 4 d and then co-administered ACR for 14 d. Immunohistochemical analysis of glial fibrillary acidic protein and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine indicated that EGCG attenuated astrogliosis and DNA damage in ACR-treated rats. Analysis of DNA fragmentation and protein expression of Bax, Bcl-2, caspase 3, and cytochrome c revealed that EGCG inhibited ACR-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, EGCG inhibited oxidative stress by enhancing the activity of antioxidant enzymes and glutathione levels and reducing the formation of reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxidation. Taken together, our data demonstrate that EGCG inhibits ACR-induced apoptosis and astrogliosis in the cerebral cortex.
Keywords: Acrylamide; apoptosis; astrogliosis; epigallocatechin-3-gallate; oxidative stress.