Lead neurotoxicity has been studied in animal models to induce neurodegeneration. The study was aimed to evaluate the attenuating effects of quercetin on spatial memory impairment and degenerative changes in hippocampus of lead exposed rats. Thirty (30) Wistar rats were randomly divided into six groups of five rats per group (each, n = 5). Groups I (control) and II were administered distilled water and lead, respectively for 42 days. Lead was co-administered with Quercetin and Succimer for Groups III and VI, respectively for 42 days. Groups IV and V were administered lead for 21 days and treated with Quercetin for Group IV and Succimer for Group V for another 21 days. The administration was orally, once per day and lasted for 42 days. Spatial memory was assessed using Eight-arm radial water maze (8-ARWM) test. The rats were anaesthetized with Ketamine at 75 mg/kg intraperitoneally and euthanized. Brain was harvested, processed, Haematoxylin and Eosin stains were used for histo¬logical study of the hippocampus and cells were counted. Results showed spatial memory was impaired and histopatho¬logy such as vacuolation, pyknotic and reduction in pyramidal cells count in CA3 region of hippocampus of lead exposed rats. How¬ever, treat¬ment with quercetin improved spatial memory and histopatho¬logy. Thus, quercetin could be used as an antidote in lead neurotoxicity.
Key words: Lead, quercetin, memory, neurodegeneration.
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