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This study investigated some effects of aluminium chloride on the cerebral cortex of adult Wistar rats. Aluminium chloride as one of the toxic metals has been known to be one of the major environmental pollutants across the world which has been reported in relation to Neurodegenerative diseases (ND) associated with metallic intoxication. It is present in many pharmaceutical drugs, food products and also used in the treatment of domestic water being involved in skeletal, haematological and neurological diseases.
Thirty-two adult Wistar of both sexes weighing between 143 g-189 g were randomly grouped into four groups, group A, B, C and D each group containing 8 rats. Group A rats which were the controls, were maintained on standard feed (grower mash) and water for 21 days. Rats in group B, C and D were treated with 0.2 g/kg, 0.4 g/kg and 0.6 g/kg of aluminium chloride respectively for 21days. The aluminium chloride solution was administered orally on a daily basis for that period.
The weight of the Wistar rats was recorded on a weekly basis (before and at the end of each week of administration). On the 22nd day the Wistar rats in group A, B, C and D were sacrificed by cervical dislocation, blood was collected through cardiac puncture, the brain was removed and weighed immediately using sensitive balance, part of the brain of all Wistar rats in each group was collected and homogenized for biochemical analysis, the remaining part was then fixed in 10% formol saline, the tissue was processed and sectioned at 5µm and stained with hematoxylin and eosin for histological study.
Results showed that the mean body weights of the Wistar rats significantly increased in the treated groups when compared with the control group. The mean brain weights of the aluminium- treated groups showed insignificant decreased (P>0.05) when compared to the control group. In the biochemical analysis, there was a statistically significant increase (P<0.05) in the level of Malondialdehyde (MDA) in the aluminium-treated groups, and a significant decrease (P<0.05) in the level of Superoxide dismutase (SOD), and Succinate Dehydrogenase (SDH) in the aluminium treated group. Histological study of the brain (cerebral cortex) revealed that the cerebral cortical layers of the aluminium treated groups appeared distorted and degenerated, in a dose-dependent manner. The study concluded that aluminium chloride has a neurotoxic effect on the cerebral cortex of adult Wistar rats which invariably may alter some cerebral functions.
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