CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY, vol.51, no.3, pp.337-342, 2005 (SCI-Expanded)
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) including nitric oxide (NO) are thought to be involved in inflammatory processes, exacerbating inflammation and tissue damage in multiple sclerosis (MS). The oil extracts of Nigella Sativa (N. sativa) has been known as an antioxidant and antiinflammatory agent. The aim of the present study was to investigate the hypothesis that N. sativa components provide protection against oxidative stress induced by experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in rats. For this purpose, EAE was induced in rats by using guinea pig myelin basic protein (MBP) in Freud's adjuvant with addition of heat-killed M. Tuberculosis H37Ra to test this hypohesis. In study groups, N. sativa was given by oral gavage to the rats. Treatment of the rats with N. sativa inhibited ROS production induced by EAE showing diminished levels of MDA of both brain and medulla spinalis tissues. Although there was a significant decrease in brain NO level, there was an increase in medulla spinalis NO level after EAE induction in rats. N. sativa regulated tissue NO levels in some extend when applied together with EAE. When N. sativa was given alone to the rats, no changes were shown in brain, medulla spinalis, and serum oxidant/antioxidant parameters. In conclusion, N sativa may protect brain and medulla spinalis tissues against oxidative stress induced by EAE. In additon, N. sativa display its antioxidant and regulatory effects via inflammatory cells rather than the host tissue (brain and medulla spinalis) for EAE in rats.