Friday, May 26, 2017

Bee Pollen Protects the Brain From Injury

Glutamate excitotoxicity induced by orally administered propionic acid, a short chain fatty acid can be ameliorated by bee pollen

Lipids Health Dis. 2017 May 22;16(1):96


Rodent models may guide investigations towards identifying either environmental neuro-toxicants or drugs with neuro-therapeutic effects. This work aims to study the therapeutic effects of bee pollen on brain glutamate excitotoxicity and the impaired glutamine-glutamate- gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) circuit induced by propionic acid (PPA), a short chain fatty acid, in rat pups.


Twenty-four young male Western Albino rats 3-4 weeks of age, and 45-60 g body weight were enrolled in the present study. They were grouped into four equal groups: Group 1, the control received phosphate buffered saline at the same time of PPA adminstration; Group 2, received 750 mg/kg body weight divided into 3 equal daily doses and served as acute neurotoxic dose of PPA; Group 3, received 750 mg/kg body weight divided in 10 equal doses of 75 mg/kg body weight/day, and served as the sub-acute group; and Group 4, the therapeutic group, was treated with bee pollen (50 mg/kg body weight) for 30 days after acute PPA intoxication. GABA, glutamate and glutamine were measured in the brain homogenates of the four groups.


The results showed that PPA caused multiple signs of excitotoxicity, as measured by the elevation of glutamate and the glutamate/glutamine ratio and the decrease of GABA, glutamine and the GABA/glutamate ratio. Bee pollen was effective in counteracting the neurotoxic effects of PPA to a certain extent.


In conclusion, bee pollen demonstrates ameliorating effects on glutamate excitotoxicity and the impaired glutamine-glutamate-GABA circuit as two etiological mechanisms in PPA-induced neurotoxicity.

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