Neuroprotective effects of eugenol against aluminium-induced toxicity in the rat brain
Mahmoud M. Said
Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Cairo
Marwa M. Abd Rabo
Hormone Evaluation Department, National Organization for Drug Control and Research (NODCAR), Giza


brain-derived neurotrophic factor
oxidative stress


Aluminium (Al) is a neurotoxic metal that contributes to the progression of several neurodegenerative diseases. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the protective effect of dietary eugenol supplementation against aluminium (Al)-induced cerebral damage in rats. Male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: normal controls, rats fed a diet containing 6,000 μg g-1 eugenol, rats intoxicated daily with aluminium chloride (84 mg kg-1 body weight) p. o. and fed either a basal diet or a eugenol-containing diet. Daily oral administration of Al for four consecutive weeks to rats significantly reduced brain total antioxidant status (TAS) (11.42±0.31 μmol g-1 tissue, p<0.001) with a subsequent significant enhancement of lipid peroxidation (MDA) (32.55±1.68 nmol g-1 tissue, p<0.002). In addition, Al enhanced brain acetylcholinesterase activity (AChE) (46.22±4.90 U mg-1 protein, p<0.001), tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) (118.72±11.32 pg mg-1 protein, p<0.001), and caspase 3 (Casp-3) (8.77±1.26 ng mg-1 protein, p<0.001) levels, and in contrast significantly suppressed brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) (82.74±14.53 pg mg-1 protein, p<0.002) and serotonin (5-HT) (1.54±0.12 ng mg-1 tissue, p<0.01) levels. Furthermore, decreased glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunostaining was noticed in the striatum of Al-intoxicated rats, compared with untreated controls. On the other hand, co-administration of dietary eugenol with Al intoxication restored brain BDNF (108.76±2.64 pg mg-1 protein) and 5-HT (2.13±0.27 ng mg-1 tissue) to normal levels, enhanced brain TAS (13.43±0.24 μmol g-1 tissue, p<0.05), with a concomitant significant reduction in TNF-α (69.98±4.74 pg mg-1 protein) and Casp-3 (3.80±0.37 ng mg-1 protein) levels (p<0.001), as well as AChE activity (24.50±3.25 U mg-1 protein, p<0.001), and increased striatal GFAP immunoreactivity, compared with Al-treated rats. Histological findings of brain tissues verified biochemical data. In conclusion, eugenol holds potential as a neuroprotective agent through its hydrophobic, antioxidant, and anti-apoptotic properties, as well as its neurotrophic ability against Al-induced brain toxicity in rats.