Crocus sativus restores dopaminergic and noradrenergic damages induced by lead in Meriones shawi: A possible link with Parkinson's disease.Acta Histochem. 2019 Feb; 121(2):171-181.AH
Lead (Pb) is a metal element released into the atmosphere and a major source of environmental contamination. The accumulation and concentration of this metal in a food web may lead to the intoxication of the body, more precisely, the nervous system (NS). In addition, Pb-exposure can cause structural and functional disruption of the NS. Studies have shown that Pb-exposure could be a risk factor in the development of Parkinson's disease (PD). The latter is related to dopaminergic deficiency that may be triggered by genetic and environmental factors such as Pb intoxication. In this study, we have evaluated, in one hand, the neurotoxic effect of Pb (25 mg / kg B.W i.p) for three consecutive days on dopaminergic system and locomotor performance in Merione shawi. In the other hand, the possible restorative potential of C. sativus (CS) (50 mg / kg BW) by oral gavage. The immunohistochemical approach has revealed that Pb-intoxicated Meriones show a significant increase of Tyrosine Hydroxylase (TH) levels within the Substantia Nigra compacta (SNc), Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA), Locus Coeruleus (LC), Dorsal Striatum (DS) and Medial Forebrain Bundle (MFB), unlike the control meriones, a group intoxicated and treated with Crocus sativus hydroethanolic extract (CSHEE) and treated group by CSHEE. Treatment with CSHEE, has shown a real potential to prevent all Pb-induced damages. In fact, restores the TH levels by 92%, 90%, 88%, 90% and 93% in SNc, VTA, LC, DS and MFB respectively, similarly, locomotor activity dysfunction in Pb-intoxicaed meriones was reinstated by 90%. In this study, we have revealed a new pharmacological potential of Crocus sativus that can be used as a neuroprotective product for neurodegenerative disorders, especially, which implying dopaminergic and noradrenergic injuries, like PD, trigged by heavy metals.