Neuroprotective Effects of Moringa oleifera (Moringaceae).
Moringa oleifera Lam (Moringaceae) is a medicinal plant used in African traditional medicine against cognitive affections and metabolic diseases. In the present study, the memory-protective and neuroprotective effects of M. oleifera were assessed in scopolamine-treated rats. Wistar rats (n=48) were divided in 6 groups: A healthy control group and five groups treated daily with scopolamine (0.6 mg/kg, i.p.) for 14 days. Concomitantly, they received per os either distilled water (negative control), piracetam at 300 mg/kg (positive control), or aqueous extract of leaves of M. oleifera at doses 100, 200, or 400 mg/kg. Changes in animal cognition were assessed in the Morris Water Maze, in the last five days of treatment. Afterwards, the animals were sacrificed and brains dissected out and processed for biochemical and histopathological studies. Compared to the negative control group, the extract induced significant: (i) decrease in escape latency time (p ˂ 0.001); (ii) increase in the entries (p˂0.001), and time spent (p˂0.001) in the target dial; (iii) increase in GSH (p˂0.001), CAT (p˂0.001), and SOD levels (p˂0.001). The extract also prevented scopolamine-induced hippocampal neuron loss. These results suggest that M. oleifera aqueous extract has potent antioxidant, neuroprotective, and memory-protective effects in scopolamine-treated rats, justifying the traditional medicine use.Read Article