Neuroprotective Effect of Portulaca oleraceae Ethanolic Extract Ameliorates Methylmercury Induced Cognitive Dysfunction and Oxidative Stress in Cerebellum and Cortex of Rat Brain.
Biol Trace Elem Res. 2016 Jul ;172(1):155-65. Epub 2015 Nov 12. PMID: 26563420
Methylmercury (MeHg) is highly toxic, and its principal target tissue in human is the nervous system, which has made MeHg intoxication a public health concern for many decades. Portulaca oleraceae (purslane), a member of the Portulacaceae family, is widespread as a weed and has been ranked the eighth most common plant in the world. In this study, we sought for potential beneficial effects of Portulaca oleracea ethanolic extract (POEE) against the neurotoxicity induced by MeHg in cerebellum and cortex of rats. Male Wistar rats were administered with MeHg orally at a dose of 5 mg/kg b.w. for 21 days. Experimental rats were given MeHg and also administered with POEE (4 mg/kg, orally) 1 h prior to the administration of MeHg for 21 days. After MeHg exposure, we determine the mercury concentration by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS); mercury content was observed high in MeHg-induced group. POEE reduced the mercury content. We also observed that the activities of catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and the level of glutathione were reduced. The levels of glutathione reductase and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance were found to be increased. The above biochemical changes were found to be reversed with POEE. Behavioral changes like decrease tail flick response, longer immobility time, and decreased motor activity were noted down during MeHg exposure. POEE pretreatment offered protection from these behavioral changes. MeHg intoxication also caused histopathological changes in cerebellum and cortex, which was found to be normalized by treatment with POEE. The present results indicate that POEE has protective effect against MeHg-induced neurotoxicity.