Astrogliosis and decreased neural viability as consequences of early consumption of aspartame and acesulfame potassium in male Wistar rats.
Metab Brain Dis. 2018 Sep 28. Epub 2018 Sep 28. PMID: 30264280
Artificial sweeteners are mainly used as substitutes for sucrose derivates. In this study, we analyzed if the chronic consumption of aspartame or acesulfame potassium at an early age, produces histological alterations, astrogliosis and decreased neuronal viability, in hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, amygdala and hypothalamus of male Wistar rats. A histological analysis was performed on male Wistar rats that consumed aspartame or acesulfame potassium during 90 days, initiating the consumption of sweeteners immediately after weaning. The evaluation of neuronal morphology in different areas of the brain was performed with hematoxylin - eosin staining. To measure astrogliosis and neuronal viability, we used the immunohistochemical technique, with the glialfibrillary acidic protein immunomodulators (GFAP) and with neuronal-specific enolase (NSE). The consumption of aspartame or acesulfame potassium promoted morphological changes of neurons including increased pyknotic nuclei and vacuolization in all the brain areas studied. In hippocampus, prefrontalcortex, amygdala and hypothalamus, astrogliosis and reduction of neural viability were observed in sweeteners consumers in comparison with the control group. Chronic consumption of ASP and ACK from early stages of development and during long periods, may promote neural modifications, astrogliosis and decrease neuronal viability in prefrontal cortex, amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus.