Alcohol consumption is a common well-known source of brain damages. This work aimed to evaluate the neuroprotective effect of Conyza aegyptiaca against ethanol-induced neurodegeneration in a Wistar rat binge drinking model. Animals, pretreated orally once a day during 3 days with the hydroethanolic extract of C. aegyptiaca (HECA 250 and 500 mg/kg), received daily intraperitoneally 7 g/kg of ethanol for 3 more days, concomitantly with HECA. Behavioral studies, brains tissue oxidative stress markers (MDA, GSH) assays, blood cell count and biochemistry analysis were performed. In vitro antioxidant activity using DPPH and FRAP tests and phytochemical tests were also realized. The negative geotaxis test showed that HECA 500 rats took significantly less time (3.24 ± 0.49 s, P<0.05 vs Ethanol control) compared to their congeners of Ethanol control group (6.80 ± 1.267 s, P<0.01 vs Sham). HECA treatment lowered significantly MDA levels (P<0.05 vs Ethanol control) and significantly increased GSH levels (P<0.05 vs Ethanol control). HECA treatment also significantly reduced the platelet count (P<0.001 vs Ethanol control). Ethanol 7 g/kg i.p raised hepatic function markers ALT and AST (respectively +27%, P<0.01 and +58.29%, P<0.01 vs Sham), effects significantly reversed by HECA treatments. DPPH scavenging activity with an IC50 of 368.769 ± 16.467 µg/mL and ferric ion reducing power with an EC50 of 139.65 ± 7.14 µg/mL should be related to the polyphenolic compounds found in HECA, tannins and flavonoids in particular. C. aegyptiaca could therefore potentially protect the brain against situations of neurodegeneration such as those observed in acute ethanol neurotoxicity.
Key words: Conyza aegyptiaca, ethanol, brain, antioxidant, neuroprotection, neurodegeneration.
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