A study was carried out on the effect of varied levels of dietary aflatoxin on acetylcholinesterase, glucose and total protein concentration in the brain regions of West African Dwarf goats. 20 West African Dwarf goats of about 5-6 months old were used for the trial and they were randomly allotted to four dietary treatments containing 0 (control), 50, 100 and 150 µg aflatoxin/kg diet. The animals were housed individually for the feeding trial in a completely randomised designed and the experiment lasted 12 weeks. At the end of the feeding trial, the animals were sacrificed and brain dissected into different regions. The different regions of the brain studied were medulla oblongata, amygdala, hippocampus, cerebral cortex, mid-brain, cerebellum, pons varoli and hypothalamus. Samples were collected from these regions and homogenised to determine acetylcholinesterase, glucose and total protein concentrations. Result showed that the acetylcholinesterase activity in the brain regions was not significantly influenced by the dietary aflatoxin among the treatments. Glucose concentration was significantly (p<0.05) higher in the hypothalamus of animals fed 50 µg aflatoxin/kg and control diet than those fed 100 and 150 µg aflatoxin/kg. Total protein concentration in the medullar oblongata and the hypothalamic regions of the brain in animals fed 150 ppb was significantly (p<0.05) higher than those on the control diet. The pH of the medulla oblongata, amygdala, hippocampus, cerebral cortex were significantly (p<0.05) higher in goats fed 150 mg/kg than those fed the control diet. However, pH was not significant in the mid brain, cerebellum, pons varoli and hypothalamus among the treatments. This study suggests that dietary aflatoxin up to 100 ppb reduced glucose concentration in the hypothalamus and total protein in the medulla oblongata region of the brain with tendency to impair brain function.
Key words: Aflatoxin, WAD goat brain, acetylcholinesterase, total protein.
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