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An Assessment of the Effects of Azodicarbonamide-containing Diet on Neurobehaviour, Brain Antioxidant Status and Membrane Lipid Peroxidation Status in Rats

[ Vol. 20 , Issue. 1 ]


Anthony T. Olofinnade, Adegboyega Adeyeba, Adejoke Y. Onaolapo and Olakunle J. Onaolapo*   Pages 49 - 57 ( 9 )


Background: Azodicarbonamide is a dough-enhancer used in the process of breadmaking in countries like Nigeria. While there have been suggestions that it is a sensitizer of the respiratory system, there is a dearth of information on its effects on the central nervous system.

Aim: This study assessed the effects of azodicarbonamide on the central nervous system (ADA) in rats.

Objective: The effects of ADA-containing diet on neurobehaviour, brain antioxidant status, and neuromorphology of selected brain regions in rats were examined.

Methods: Forty adult rats were randomly-assigned into four groups of ten rats each, and were given standard diet or diet containing ADA at 1, 2 and 4% respectively. Rats were fed a standard diet or ADA-containing diet for a period of 28 days. Weekly body weight assessment and daily estimation of food intake were done. Behavioural tests {in the Open field, Y-maze, radial-arm maze, and Elevated Plus Maze (EPM)} were conducted on day 29. Twenty-four hours after the last behavioural test, animals were euthanised, whole brains were dissected, weighed, and either homogenised for assessment of lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status; or sectioned and processed for general histology.

Results: Consumption of ADA-containing diet was associated with a significant decrease in weight gain/food intake, and significant suppression of horizontal locomotion and rearing behaviours; however, grooming activity increased significantly. Also, there was a significant reduction of open-arm time in the EPM and a significant increase in Y-maze alternation (at the lowest concentration of ADA). ADA-containing diet was not associated with significant changes in brain oxidative status or neuromorphology.

Conclusion: The study showed that while ADA-containing diet may alter neurobehaviour in rats; this was not associated with evidence of brain oxidative stress or neuro-histomorphological alterations.


Dough enhancer, food additive, neurobehaviour, oxidative stress, neuromorphology, central inhibition.


Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Osogbo, Osun State, Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Osogbo, Osun State, Behavioural Neuroscience/Neurobiology Unit, Department of Anatomy, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Osogbo, Osun State

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