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The effects of oral administration of Aloe vera [barbadensis] on rat central nervous system: An experimental preliminary study

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Author(s): Kosif R | Aktas RG | Oztekin A

Journal: Neuroanatomy
ISSN 1303-1783

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 22;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: neuroanatomy | Aloe barbadensis | rat | central nervous system | histologic examination

ABSTRACT
Aloe vera [barbadensis] (Av) is widely used for both commercial and therapeutic purposes. It has been used foran array of ailments since ancient times as a medicinal plant. There are more than 360 different species of Av.Its products have been used in health foods for medical and preservative purposes. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of Av on the rat’s central nervous system; since there are limited studies on that issue. Gel form of Av is used in the study. It is commercial, preserved but otherwise untreated form of Av. Female Wistar Albino rats were divided into three study groups. Tissue specimens from cerebrum, cerebellum, hippocampus and ventricular area were processed for the microscopic examination. All sections from each group were stained with hematoxylin eosin and cresyl violet. Our results indicate that Av did not have any clear toxic effects on both neurons and glial cells of the central nervous system in different areas. Cytoplasmic features of the neurons, Nissle bodies, axonal hillock, and nuclei of neurons were the same after the treatment. However; the relationship between the Purkinje cells and the surrounding cerebellar tissue was decreased in the treated group. The other important finding was the change of ependymal cells at the ventricular zone: The number and the height of these cells were obviously increased.The single layered epithelium changed into the stratified epithelium in certain areas. It was also evident thatmicrovilli and the cilia on the apical side of these cell increased dramatically. The capillaries in the region ofchoroid plexus were also dramatically increased. We believe that further studies related with these morphological changes will be helpful to understand the mechanism(s) of the similar transformation of the cells in different conditions.

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