The study evaluated the biochemical effects of methanolic seed extract of Aframomum melegueta (MEAM) on biochemical parameters of the brain of rats treated with monosodium glutamate (MSG) with a view to considering the possibility of using the plant as a remedy for the management of neurotoxic disorders. MEAM was prepared according to standard methods, phytochemically screened and followed by evaluation of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potentials as well as its biological activities. Phytochemical screening of the methanolic extract (ME) revealed the presence of alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, flavonoids, saponins, steroids, tannins and terpenoids. Administration of MSG (2 g/kg bwt) caused alterations in the levels of glutathione, nitric oxide, Vitamin C and E, as well as in the reduction of activities of enzymatic antioxidants. There were increases in the activities of brain marker enzymes, protein and peroxidation levels. Histopathological observations of brain sections revealed that MEAM protected the brain from glutamate-induced neurotoxicity. Conclusively, extract of A. melegueta elicited appreciable and potent neuroprotective potentials against neuro-degeneration caused by MSG oral administration, in a concentration dependent manner.
Key words: Neurotoxicity, Aframomum melegueta, methanolic extract, monosodium glutamate, antioxidant enzymes, neurotransmitters, brain biomarkers.
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