Addiction Research


Cognitive Impairments Induced by Adolescent Binge-Like Ethanol in Rat: Neuroprotective Role of Argan Oil

EL Mostafi Hicham, Touil Tariq, Laaziz Abderrahim, Ouichou Ali, Elhessni Aboubaker, Mesfioui Abdelhalim.

Adolescent alcohol binge drinking constitutes a major vulnerability factor to develop cognitive disorders. However, the pathways of treatment or prevention against this susceptibility remain less explored. Argan oil (AO), commonly used in traditional Moroccan medicines, is rich in oleic and linoleic acids, polyphenols, sterols, and tocopherols. This composition gives it numerous beneficial pharmacological effects of mental health. In the current study, we evaluated the short-term and long-term AO effects on (i) memory and learning deficits induced by adolescent binge-like ethanol intoxication (ii) the oxidative status of the hippocampus (Hipp) and the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in Wistar rats. To model binge-like ethanol intoxication, every 2 days, rats received an ethanol injection (3.0 g/kg) for 2 consecutive days across 14 days either from postnatal day 30 (PND30) to 43th (early adolescence). Two weeks before the onset of ethanol intoxication (PND21), rats were daily administered by oral gavage with AO (1ml/100g/day), for 5 or 20 weeks. The Y-Maze, Object Recognition and Morris water maze tests were used to assess the working memory, recognition memory, spatial memory and learning performance in adolescents or adults animals. Also, the catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities, the lipid peroxidation and nitrite concentrations were measured using spectrophotometric methods. The AO pretreatment increased the performance of working memory, recognition memory and spatial memory in rats previously intoxicated by ethanol, regardless of the age of the animals. These behavioral improvements were accompanied by stress oxidative marked changes in Hipp and PFC. AO pretreatment produces also significant decrease of the lipid peroxidation and nitrite levels. On the contrary, AO increased the catalase and SOD activities in adolescents and adults animals. For the first time, our results suggest that AO pretreatment is capable of attenuating cognitive impairments and oxidative stress in the Hipp and PFC of Wistar rats. This indicates that AO may exhibit a neuroprotection against the toxicity of ethanol in brain adolescent rats.

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