Lead is considered as one of the most dangerous causes of environmental pollution that poses a great danger to the health of people. The central nervous system, especially the areas undergoing postnatal development such as the hippocampus, is considered the most susceptible region to the hazards of lead.Aim of the study
The present study was carried out to determine the effects of subclinical lead exposure on the hippocampus of albino rats and the ameliorating effect of antox on the affected group.Materials and methods
Thirty-two male albino rats were divided into four groups (eight rats each). The first (control) group received distilled water orally, the second group received antox 10 mg/kg/day orally, the third group received 0.5% lead acetate in distilled water, and the fourth group received both antox and lead acetate at the same dose and through the same route for 2 months. Brain sections were prepared for histological (H&E), immunohistochemical (for detection of anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein), and electron microscopic studies. Blood samples were examined for estimation of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and serum malondialdehyde.Results
The pyramidal cell layer in the hippocampus of the lead-treated group decreased significantly in number with the appearance of some degenerated cells. Numerous dilated blood capillaries were detected in the lead-treated group. There was a significant increase (P < 0.001) in the intensity of staining of astrocytes with glial fibrillary acidic protein in the lead-treated group. On electron microscopic study, there were degenerated nerve cells and fibers with a deformed myelin sheath. Oligodendrocytes showed an irregular dark nucleus and clumped chromatin. Antox ameliorated the toxic effects of lead for all histological results. Biochemical studies revealed a significant decrease in both superoxide dismutase and catalase, whereas malondialdehyde showed a significant increase in the lead-treated group and improved with the combination of antox and lead.Conclusion
The present study showed a considerable ameliorating effect of antox on the structure of the hippocampus subjected to subclinical lead exposure.