Hippocampal pyramidal cell degeneration and changes in CREB protein in Datura stramonium treated rats

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American Journal of Neuroscience
Datura Stramonium (DS) is a tropical shrub which is available worldwide. It has various uses and is often used to increase the intoxication of certain beverages. The seeds of this plant are very toxic but are commonly smoked in like manner as tobacco. The present study investigated the potential harmful effects of DS on pyramidal cells and CREB protein in the hippocampus of Wistar rats in order to further elucidate the effects of DS seed extract on hippocampal structure. The study was conducted on both male and female Wistar rats (200-250 g). They were first divided into three batches, which were further sub-divided into four groups in each batch with eight animals per group. Ethanolic extract of dried seeds of DS was diluted in normal saline and given to the treatment groups. The treated groups received intraperitoneal administration (i.p.) of 750 mg kg−1 (Bania et al., 2004) of diluted DS seed extracts, once in batch 1, twice in batch 2 and thrice in batch 3 per day respectively for 4 weeks while the control groups received an equivalent of normal saline. The rats were euthanized and Western blot analysis used to evaluate the levels of CREB protein in the rats’ hippocampi. Sections of each hippocampus were histologically processed in all the groups and silver impregnation stain for degenerating axons and neurons was used to elucidate the actions of DS on the pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus. The result of i.p. administration of DS extract (750 mg kg−1) given three times per day to the treated rats showed significant histological changes such as axonal atrophy, cytoplasmic vacuolation and neuronal necrosis of the pyramidal cells of the hippocampus, as well as an increase in CREB protein levels in both male and female rats. Excessive ingestion of DS seeds, therefore, may lead to hippocampal pyramidal cell losses and an increase in CREB protein levels in the hippocampus. This may be implicated in neurological disorders.
Dare S. Sunday Anatomy, Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Kampala International University, Uganda
Datura stramonium, Hippocampus, Neuronal Atrophy, CREB Protein, Pyramidal, Histological Changes