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J Microsc Ultrastruct. 2019 Oct-Dec;7(4):171-180. doi: 10.4103/JMAU.JMAU_47_18. Epub 2019 Nov 18.

The Possible Protective Role of Barley Seeds on the Spleen after Administration of Glucocorticoids in Adult Albino Rats: A Histological and Immunohistochemical Study.

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Department of Histology and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Asyut, Egypt.
College of Medicine, Jouf University, Sakakah, KSA.



Glucocorticoids (GCs) are the main treatment strategy in many autoimmune disease and inflammatory diseases; however, they have immunosuppressive effect on many organs. The barley seeds contain many antioxidant compounds, which may improve the antioxidant status and related physiological functions. Our aim in this work is to evaluate the possible protective role of barley seeds on some immune cells in the spleen against immunosuppressive effect of GCs in adult albino rats.

Materials and Methods:

Forty-five adult albino rats were equally divided into 3 groups. Group I: normal vehicle control (n = 15), Group II: steroid-treated animals (n = 15), and Group III: steroid/barley-treated group (n = 15). Specimens from spleen were processed for light and electron microscopy.


In steroid-treated group, the histological changes in white and red pulp were in the form of loss of architecture and wide empty spaces among the cells. Most of the cells showed degenerative change, dilatation of blood sinusoids, and deposition of fibrinoid material among the cells of the RP. However, multiple lysosomal bodies were observed in both dendritic and macrophage cells. These changes are improved in steroid/barley-treated group in the form of increasing the number and size of the lymphatic follicles. Most of the splenic cells regained normal structure. Dendritic cell marker CD86 and macrophage marker CD68 expression are increased.


Barley protects the spleen tissues from steroid-induced structural changes; this could be mediated through its antioxidant effects, so barely is recommended as a healthy diet in patients consuming steroids.


Barley; glucocorticoids; spleen; ultrastructural

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