Article Type

Original Study


Objectives The aim of this study was to determine the genotoxicity and developmental toxicity of acrylamide (ACR) on the spinal cord white matter of male albino rats and the possible protective role of rosemary. Background With increasing number of sources of ACR exposure to the general public, the need for understanding the toxicological risk associated with such exposure is in high demand. Materials and methods Eighty male albino rats were used in this study. 20 rats for each group their mothers were given either distilled water, rosemary aqueous extract (RAE) (2.2 ml/kg/twice/week - i.e 0.44 ml/rat) orally, ACR (10 mg/kg/day - i.e 2 mg/rat) orally, or ACR in combination with RAE. The rats were subjected to morphological (clinical) assessent. They were then killed at the age of 1, 7, 14, and 21 days and the thoracic part of the spinal cord was subjected to histological, immunohistochemical, and morphometric studies. Single cell gel electrophoresis (comet assay) was performed on peripheral blood leukocytes. Results ACR administration significantly delayed the normal development, reduced the body measurements, and increased the gait score. The spinal cord white matter of ACR-treated rats showed significant reduction in the number of neuroglia, as well as swollen axons and vacuolation. The area percentage of neurofilament and myelin basic protein immunostaining was reduced. Also, ACR led to DNA damage, which was expressed as significant increase in comet tail length, tail DNA%, and tail moment when compared with the control group. ACR toxicity was age dependent. RAE led to improvement in all tested parameters, especially at younger ages. Conclusion ACR induced its neurotoxic effect through demyelination of axons and alteration of neurofilament protein content. RAE (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) showed protective effects against developmental toxicity and genotoxicity induced by ACR.