Despite the fact that levodopa has proven its effectiveness in treating the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), increasing concerns have emerged about its possible long-term toxic effects on dopamine (DA) neurons. The study investigated the possible ameliorative effect of virgin coconut oil against l-dopa- induced neurotoxicity in adult rats. A total number of 40 rats were divided into four groups. Briefly, the first served as control, the second was orally administered virgin coconut oil (1.42 mL/kg), the third group was administered a single daily dose of l-dopa/carbidopa (100/10 mg/kg/day, p.o) and the fourth group pre-treated with virgin coconut oil then administered a single daily dose of l-dopa/carbidopa. The different treatments were extended for 30 days. l-dopa treated group exhibited aggressive behavior and behavioral abnormalities in open field test compared to control group. In addition, l-dopa treatment caused significant increase in the levels of striatal dopamine and norepinephrine and their metabolites with concomitant decrease of serotonin and its metabolite. Moreover, l-dopa treatment increased histamine and GABA levels. In addition, l-dopa treatment induced oxidative stress and energy crisis. The histological and immunohistochemical studies showed that l-dopa caused a remarkable neurodegeneration and increased glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoexpression in the striatal area. Virgin coconut oil co-treatment significantly minimized the harmful effects of l-dopa. In conclusion, the present study revealed that virgin coconut oil provided a notable protection against l-dopa's untoward effects.
Keywords: Oxidative stress; Parkinson; Virgin coconut oil; l-dopa; striatum.
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