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Kola nut from Cola nitida vent. Schott administered to pregnant rats induces histological alterations in pups’ cerebellum

Atiba, FA, Fatokun, AA, Imosemi, IO and Malomo, AO (2021) Kola nut from Cola nitida vent. Schott administered to pregnant rats induces histological alterations in pups’ cerebellum. PLoS One, 16 (3). ISSN 1932-6203

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Kola nut (from Cola nitida) is popular in Nigeria and West Africa and is commonly consumed by pregnant women during the first trimester to alleviate morning sickness and dizziness. There is, however, a dearth of information on its effects on the developing brain. This study, therefore, investigated the potential effects of kola nut on the structure of the developing neonatal and juvenile cerebellum in the rat. Pregnant Wistar rats were administered water (as control) or crude (aqueous) kola nut extract at 400, 600, and 800 mg/kg body weight orally, from pregnancy to day 21 after birth. On postnatal days 1, 7, 14, 21 and 28, the pups were weighed, anaesthetised, sacrificed and perfused with neutral buffered formalin. Their brains were dissected out, weighed and the cerebellum preserved in 10% buffered formalin. Paraffin sections of the cerebellum were stained with haematoxylin and eosin for cerebellar cytoarchitecture, cresyl violet stain for Purkinje cell count, Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP) immunohistochemistry (IHC) for estimation of gliosis, and B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) IHC for apoptosis induction. The kola nut-treated rats exhibited initial reduction in body and brain weights, persistent external granular layer, increased molecular layer thickness, and loss of Bergmann glia. Their Purkinje cells showed reduction in density, loss of dendrites and multiple layering, and their white matter showed neurodegeneration (spongiosis) and GFAP and Bcl-2 over-expression, with evidence of reactive astrogliosis. This study, therefore, demonstrates that kola nut, administered repeatedly at certain doses to pregnant dams, could disrupt normal postnatal cerebellar development in their pups. The findings suggest potential deleterious effects of excessive kola nut consumption on human brain and thus warrant further studies to understand the wider implications for human brain development.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2021 11:01
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 05:48
DOI or ID number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0247573
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14587
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