Neurobehavioral changes and activation of neurodegenerative apoptosis on long-term consumption of aspartame in the rat brain

I. Ashok, Dapkupar Wankhar, Wankupar Wankhar, R. Sheeladevi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Though several studies on toxic effect of aspartame metabolite have been studied, there are scanty data on whether aspartame exposure administration could release formate, a methanol metabolite thereby inducing oxidative stress and neurodegeneration in brain discrete region. To mimic the human methanol metabolism, the methotrexate (MTX) treated folate deficient rats were used. Aspartame was administered orally to the MTX treated animals and was studied along with controls and MTX treated controls. Oral intubations of FDA approved 40 mg/kg b.wt aspartame were given daily for 90 days. The loco-motor activity and emotionality behavior in the aspartame treated animals showed a marked increase in the immobilization, fecal bolus with a marked decrease in ambulation, rearing, grooming. The anxiety behavior in the aspartame treated animals showed a marked decrease in percentage of open arm entry, percentage of time spent in open arm and number of head dips. It is appropriate to point out, formaldehyde and formate could have led to an increased formation of free radical in the aspartame treated animals resulting in altered neurobehavioral changes owing to neuronal oxidative damage. Aspartame induced ROS may be also linked to increased neuronal apoptosis. In this study the aspartame treated animals showed an up regulation in the apoptotic gene expression along with protein expression in the respective brain region indicating the enhancement of neuronal cell death. This study intends to corroborate that chronic aspartame consumption can alter the behavior and neurodegeneration in brain discrete regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-85
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nutrition and Intermediary Metabolism
Volume2
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

User-Defined Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Aspartame
  • Emotionality behavior
  • Loco-motor activity
  • Neurodegeneration

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