THE PROTECTIVE EFFECT OF ALLIUM CEPA (ONION) EXTRACT AGAINST POTENTIAL HEPATOTOXIC EFFECT OF ASPARTAME IN MALE RATS
Manal H. EL kafrawy*, Asmaa F. Yousuf, Azza H. Abd El-wahab and Mona G. El Anan
Anatomy* and Physiology Departments, Faculty of Medicine Al-Azhar University
Aspartame (ASP) is one of the most widely consumed artificial sweeteners in various countries which added to a large variety of foods and beverages .It is the most controversial artificial sweetener due to its potential toxicity to body system. Allium Cepa (red onion) is used in foodstuff and as a traditional remedy in treatment of a variety of diseases. It contains phenolic compounds especially quercetin, organosulphur compounds, vitamins and some minerals. These compounds may mediate the beneficial health effects of Allium Cepa. Objective: The present study is an effort aimed to investigate the possible protective influence of Allium cepa extract (AcE) against potential hepatotoxic, oxidative and apoptotic disorders induced by aspartame. Material and Methods: Adult male rats were divided into 4 groups (n=6), animals of group 1 (control) had free access to water and food materials. Group 2 (Ac E) was daily administered (1.0ml/100g BW/day) orally. Group 3 (ASP) was daily administered orally 50.4 mg/rat. Group 4 (ASP+ Ac E) was daily administered till the end of the experiment for 8 weeks. All groups of rats were anesthetized and sacrificed at the end of the experiment. Blood samples were taken from all groups to estimate liver enzymes: alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP); oxidative stress biomarkers malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH); anti-apoptotic marker: B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2). Then the rats were sacrificed and the livers were removed. The livers were processed to prepared paraffin blocks. Sections were stained with haematoxylin and eosin, Masson’s trichrome and PAS stains. Results: Oral administration of aspartame significantly increased serum ALT, AST, ALP, MDA levels and decreased serum GSH and Bcl-2 level. Also, histopathological study showed marked alteration of hepatic architecture .There was degeneration of hepatocytes in the form of cytoplasmic vacuoles, nuclear changes in the form of pyknosis, fragmentation or karyolysis,. The portal and central veins were dilated and congested and focal haemorrhage was observed in the hepatic parenchyma. Masson’s Trichrome stain displayed with collagen proliferation. PAS reaction detect increased mucopolysaccharides content in most of hepatocytes induced by ASP. Administration of AcE with aspartame ameliorated serum alterations with keeping nearly normal hepatic architecture on histopathological study. Conclusion: Our data suggesting that the AcE has the potential protect against hepatotoxic, oxidative and apoptotic effects of aspartame. Further studies will be focused on herbal formulations of A. cepa and aspartame to determine their mechanism of actions.