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. 2020 Mar 12;6(3):e03514.
doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e03514. eCollection 2020 Mar.

Subchronic Exposure to Kafura; Its Neurotoxic Potentials in Young Adult Female Wistar Rats

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Free PMC article

Subchronic Exposure to Kafura; Its Neurotoxic Potentials in Young Adult Female Wistar Rats

Anoka A Njan et al. Heliyon. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Kafura pelebe (camphor) {C10H16O} is a chemical substance used mostly amongst the Yoruba ethnic group in Western Nigeria to treat infantile colic during early childhood. This study assess the neurotoxic potentials of Kafura following sub-chronic exposure in female albino Wistar rats.

Methods: Twenty-eight female rats (mean weight of 130 g) were randomly selected and assigned into four (4) groups. Control, received 1ml coconut oil while the treatment groups received 79, 158 and 237. mg/kg b.wt (d ose p.o) of Kafura for the period of 14 days. On day fifteen, animals were dissected and the brain organ excised for the homogenate and histopathologic assay, blood samples were also collected for haematological analysis. Morris Water Maze experiment for reference memory was also carried out to ascertain effect of Kafura in the Central Nervous system (CNS).

Results: A trend toward decreased body-weight gain and increase brain weight was observed in Kafura-treated rats but was statistically not significant, compared to control. The biochemical assessment of the antioxidant status of brains of Kafura-treated rats showed significant (p ≤ 0.05) increase in activities of some anti-oxidant enzymes (Superoxide dismutase (SOD), Glutathione peroxide (GPx), and Catalase (CAT)). There was increase in acetylcholinesterase (AChE), Malondialdehyde (MDA), and Total protein activities in the brain of treated rats compared to control. Alterations of the haematological parameters were observed, with the plasma granulocytes, lymphocytes, and haemoglobin (HGB), showing significant decrease in the treated rats compared to control. The water maze test showed a marked increase in spatial learning and memory time (seconds) in kafura-treated rats, compared to control and across treated groups.

Conclusions: The present study provides indication that kafura Pelebe shows apparent neurotoxicity in experimental animals. Incessant exposure in humans though may lead to development of some central nervous system defects.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Brain; Complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM); Kafura; Neuroscience; Oxidative stress; Toxicity; Toxicology.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Effect of Kafura on: (A) Body weight following 14 days treatment (n = 5), (B) Percentage body weight gain (g %) in adult female rats (n = 5). Data are expressed as mean ± standard error of mean (SEM) of 5 animals. ∗Values differ significantly from control and between groups (P < 0.05). (∗ = p < 0.05, ∗∗ = p < 0.01, ∗∗∗ = p < 0.001).
Figure 2
Figure 2
Effect of Kafura on: (A) Brain weight in adult female rats (n = 5), (B) Escape Latency (n = 5). Data are expressed as mean ± standard error of mean (SEM) of 5 animals. ∗Values differ significantly from control and between groups (P < 0.05). (∗ = p < 0.05, ∗∗ = p < 0.01, ∗∗∗ = p < 0.001).
Figure 3
Figure 3
Effect of Kafura on: (A) Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx) activity in adult female rats (n = 5), (B) Catalase (CAT) activity in adult female rats (n = 5), (C) Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) activity in adult female rats (n = 5), Data are expressed as mean ± standard error of mean (SEM) of 5 animals. ∗Values differ significantly from control and between groups (P < 0.05). (∗ = p < 0.05, ∗∗ = p < 0.01, ∗∗∗ = p < 0.001, ∗∗∗∗ = p < 0.0001).
Figure 4
Figure 4
Effect of Kafura on: (A) Malondialdehyde (MDA) activity in adult female rats (n = 5), (B) Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in adult female rats (n = 5), (C) Nitric Oxide (NO) activity in adult female rats (n = 5). Data are expressed as mean ± standard error of mean (SEM) of 5 animals. ∗Values differ significantly from control and between groups (P < 0.05). (∗ = p < 0.05, ∗∗ = p < 0.01, ∗∗∗ = p < 0.001).
Figure 5
Figure 5
5A: Representative stained sections of hippocampus of rat groups: (A) control, (B) 79 mg/kg, (C) 158 mg/kg, (D) 237 mg/kg, (E & F) Mortality at 158 mg/kg and 237 mg/kg respectively. H&E x40. 5B: Representative stained sections of cerebral cortex of rat groups: (A) control, (B) 79 mg/kg, (C) 158 mg/kg, (D) 237 mg/kg, (E & F) Mortality at 158 mg/kg and 237 mg/kg respectively. H&E x40.

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