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The potential neuroprotective effect of allicin and melatonin in acrylamide-induced brain damage in rats

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Acrylamide (ACR) is an unsaturated monomer that served various fields; however, it is a potent neurotoxin. The target of the present study is to explore the neuroprotective efficacy of allicin and melatonin on ACR-induced neurotoxicity. Thirty-six male adult rats were non-selectively separated into six groups: placebo, allicin (20 mg/kg b.w daily per os), melatonin (10 mg/kg b.w 3 times/week per os), ACR (50 mg/kg b.w daily per os), ACR-allicin, and ACR-melatonin at the same doses as the preceding groups. The assessment of brain biomarkers, neurotransmitters, antioxidative status, Nrf2 signaling pathway, and histopathological analyses was performed following 21 days. ACR exposure induced brain lipid and DNA oxidative damage as well as reduced the glutathione (GSH) levels. The obvious brain oxidative injuries contributed to distinct brain dysfunction that was assured by alteration of brain neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, and acetylcholinesterase) and pathological brain lesions. Furthermore, ACR exposure increased hydroxy deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and amyloid protein (AB1-42). Finally, the mRNA transcripts of brain Keap-1, Nrf2, and NF-kB were upregulated after ACR intoxication. Interestingly, allicin and melatonin alleviated the ACR-induced brain damage assessed by the normalization of the mentioned analyses. The present study demonstrated the protective role of both allicin and melatonin in ACR-prompted neuropathy by alleviation of redox imbalance and enhancement of neurotransmitters as well as relieving DNA damage and anti-inflammatory effect.

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Data Availability

All data analyzed during the current study are included in this published article.





Acetylcholine esterase




Analysis of variance


Antioxidant response element


Amyloid protein1-42


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor


Diallyl disulfide


Diallyl trisulfide


Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase


Reduced glutathione


Oxidized glutathione


Kelch-like ECH-associated protein-1






Nuclear factor-kappa B


Nitric oxide synthase


Nuclear factor erythroid 2 like factor


8-Hydroxy deoxyguanosine


Reactive oxygen species




Standard error


Tumor necrosis factor




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H.A.E: funding, investigation, and methodology; N.M.T: idea, design, and supervision; M.A.L: design, validation, writing the manuscript draft, manuscript revision, and editing; M.S.E: data collection and analysis, software, and visualization.

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Correspondence to Mohamed A. Lebda.

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Edres, H.A., Taha, N.M., Lebda, M.A. et al. The potential neuroprotective effect of allicin and melatonin in acrylamide-induced brain damage in rats. Environ Sci Pollut Res 28, 58768–58780 (2021).

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