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Folia Morphol (Warsz). 2018 Aug 14. doi: 10.5603/FM.a2018.0066. [Epub ahead of print]

Vitamin C attenuates the toxic effect of nutmeg on primary visual occipital cortex in rats.

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Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt..



Nutmeg is neurotoxic in rats and possibly neurotoxic also in humans. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of nutmeg on the primary visual occipital cortex of adult male rat and to evaluate the possible protective role of vitamin C.


Fifty Sprague-Dawley adults male rats were randomly divided into three main groups; control, nutmeg-treated (500 and 1000 mg/kg/day) and protected groups [nutmeg + vitamin C (500mg/kg/day]. All rats were treated orally by gavage for 5 days per week for 6 weeks. At the end of the experiment, primary visual occipital cerebral cortex was subjected to histological, immunohistochemical and genetic analyses.


Our results revealed toxic effects of nutmeg on the primary visual occipital cerebral cortex in adult male albino rat. This was indicated by histopathological alterations, including pyknotic nuclei surrounded with vacuolations by light microscopic studies and degenerations of organelles by electron microscopic studies. In addition, we detected an increase in immune-reactivity for GFAP and caspase-3 by immunohistochemical assessments. Apoptotic bands appeared in genetic studies. Co-administration of vitamin C ameliorated nutmeg-induced toxic alterations on the primary visual occipital cerebral cortex.


Nutmeg administration caused histopathological and genetic changes in the primary visual occipital cerebral cortex in adult male albino rats. These changes were improved by co-administration of vitamin C.


antioxidant; apoptosis; cerebral cortex; neurotoxin; nutmeg; vitamin C

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