JOURNAL OF MEDICINAL FOOD, vol.19, no.6, pp.601-606, 2016 (SCI-Expanded)
Garlic has been used as a food as well as a component of traditional medicine. Aged garlic extract (AGE) is claimed to promote human health through antioxidant/anti-inflammatory activities with neuroprotective effects. We evaluated the possible beneficial effect of AGE neurologically, pathologically, ultrastructurally, and biochemically in a spinal cord ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) model of rats. Twenty-four Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three groups: sham (no I/R), I/R, and AGE (I/R+AGE); each group consisted of eight animals. Animals were evaluated neurologically with the Basso, Beattie, and Bresnahan (BBB) scoring system. The spinal cord tissue samples were harvested for pathological and ultrastructural examinations. Oxidative products (Malondialdehyde, nitric oxide), antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase), inflammatory cytokines (tissue tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-1), and caspase-3 activity were analyzed. The AGE group had significantly higher BBB scores than the I/R group. Pathologically, AGE group revealed reduced degree of ischemia and spinal cord edema. Ultrastructural results also showed preservation of tissue structure in the AGE group. Oxidative product levels of the I/R group were significantly higher than both the other groups, and antioxidant enzyme levels of AGE group were significantly higher than the I/R group. There was also significant difference between the sham and AGE groups in terms of total antioxidant enzyme levels. Furthermore, AGE treatment significantly reduced the inflammatory cytokines and caspase-3 activity than the I/R group. This study demonstrates the considerable neuroprotective effect of AGE on the neurological, pathological, ultrastructural, and biochemical status of rats with I/R-induced spinal cord injury.