Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of this study was to determine the possible protective effects of extravirgin olive oil on aspartame (ASP)-treated rats, which causes cerebellar changes. Background ASP is found in many products and is used all over the world. It has been reported that the consumption of ASP could cause neurological and behavioral changes such as headache, insomnia, and seizures. This study discussed the possible protective effects of extravirgin olive oil on the cerebellum of rats previously treated with ASP. Materials and methods Thirty adult male albino rats were used in the present study. The animals were divided into three equal groups (10 rats in each). The first group served as the control group. In the second group, the rats were administered ASP at a dose of 75 mg/kg body weight daily for 3 months by using an intragastric tube. In the third group, the rats were administered olive oil in a dose of 0.5 mg/kg body weight, followed by ASP in the same dose as the rats in group 2 through the same route. In addition, cyclooxygenase-2 immunohistological and hematoxylin and eosin light microscopic, and morphometric analyses were carried out. Results In the ASP-treated group, disorganization of the three layers of the cerebellar cortex had occurred. ASP caused marked changes in the histological picture of the normal cerebellum, indicated by an increase in the number of vacuolated spaces, necrosis, and apoptosis in the three layers. Furthermore, there was a decrease in the mean value (±SD) of Purkinje cell count and the area of Purkinje cell layer in the ASP-treated group. The administration of extravirgin olive oil in conjunction with ASP resulted in significant improvement in the organization of cellular layers of the cerebellar cortex and ameliorated the effects of ASP on the cerebellum. There was a significant improvement in the morphometric results with the use of the oil. Conclusion Administration of extravirgin olive oil ameliorates the neuropathological changes caused by aspartame on cerebellum of albino rats.