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The ameliorative effect of N-acetylcysteine against penconazole induced neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disorders in rats
Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology  (IF3.642),  Pub Date : 2021-08-15, DOI: 10.1002/jbt.22884
Ashraf M. Morgan, Eman I. Hassanen, Hanan A. Ogaly, Sharah A. Al Dulmani, Fatimah A. M. Al-Zahrani, Mona K. Galal, Shaimaa Kamel, Maha M. Rashad, Marwa A. Ibrahim, Ahmed M. Hussien

Penconazole (PEN) is a widely used systemic fungicide to treat various fungal diseases in plants but it leaves residues in crops and food products causing serious environmental and health problems. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a precursor of the antioxidant glutathione in the body and exerts prominent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The present study aimed to explore the mechanistic way of NAC to ameliorate the PEN neurotoxicity in male rats. Twenty-eight male rats were randomly divided into four groups (n = 7) and given the treated material via oral gavage for 10 days as the following: Group I (distilled water), Group II (50 mg/kg body weight [bwt] PEN), Group III (200 mg/kg bwt NAC), and Group IV (NAC + PEN). After 10 days all rats were subjected to behavioral assessment and then euthanized to collect brain tissues to perform oxidative stress, molecular studies, and pathological examination. Our results revealed that PEN exhibits neurobehavioral toxicity manifested by alteration in the forced swim test, elevated plus maze test, and Y-maze test. There were marked elevations in malondialdehyde levels with reduction in total antioxidant capacity levels, upregulation of messenger RNA levels of bax, caspase 3, and caspase 9 genes with downregulation of bcl2 genes. In addition, brain sections showed marked histopathological alteration in the cerebrum and cerebellum with strong bax and inducible nitric oxide synthetase protein expression. On the contrary, cotreatment of rats with NAC had the ability to improve all the abovementioned neurotoxic parameters. The present study can conclude that NAC has a neuroprotective effect against PEN-induced neurotoxicity via its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic effect. We recommend using NAC as a preventive and therapeutic agent for a wide variety of neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory disorders.