Chronic consumption of cassava juice induces cellular stress in rat substantia nigra

Document Type : Original Article


1 Posgrado en Neuroetología, Instituto de Neuroetología, Universidad Veracruzana. Xalapa, Veracruz. Mexico

2 Facultad de Química Farmacéutica Biológica, Universidad Veracruzana. Xalapa, Veracruz. Mexico

3 Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla. Puebla, Puebla. Mexico

4 IIIT Srikakulam, Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (RGUKT); International collaboration ID: 1840; India

5 Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía “Manuel Velasco Suárez”. Ciudad de México. Mexico

6 Laboratorio de Neurofarmacología, Instituto de Neuroetología, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Veracruz. Mexico

7 CONACyT-Instituto de Neuroetología, Universidad Veracruzana. Xalapa, Veracruz. Mexico


Objective(s): Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) contains cyanogenic glycosides (linamarin and lotaustralin) that have been associated with neurological disorders in humans and rats. In basal ganglia, the dopaminergic neurons of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) show high cytotoxic susceptibility; therefore, the chronic consumption of cassava (CCC) could induce neurodegeneration in SNpc.  In this study we examine the impact of CCC on the integrity of the nigrostriatal system, including apoptosis and microgliosis.
Materials and Methods: Male Wistar rats were administered cassava juice daily (3.57 g/kg and 28.56 g/kg, per os) or linamarin (0.15  mg/ml, IP), and its effects were evaluated in rota-rod and swim tests at days 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35 of administration. In SNpc, oxidative/nitrosative stress was determined by malondialdehyde/4-hydroxyalkenals (MDA-4-HAD) and nitrite contents. Tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity (TH-IR) was evaluated in SNpc, neostriatum (NE), and nucleus accumbens (NA). Apoptosis and microgliosis were determined by active-caspase-3 (C3) and CD11b/c (OX42) expression in the medial region of SNpc.
Results: Chronic administration of cassava juice, or linamarin, increased motor impairment. The rats that received 28.56 g/kg cassava showed increased MDA-4-HAD content in SNpc and nitrite levels in NE with respect to controls. Significant loss of TH-IR in SNpc, NE, and NA was not found. The 28.56 g/kg cassava administration produced dopaminergic atrophy and microgliosis, whereas linamarin induced hypertrophy and C3-related apoptosis in SNpc.
Conclusion: CCC induces cellular stress on dopaminergic neurons, which could contribute to motor impairment in the rat.


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