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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-7

Organ toxicity of monosodium glutamate in adult albino Wistar rats

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Abia State University, Uturu, Abia State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. O E Ogbuagu
Department of pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Abia State University Teaching Hospital, P.M.B 7004, Aba, Abia State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/9783-1230.169056

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Objectives: To determine the LD50 and organ toxicity of monosodium glutamate (MSG). Materials and Methods: A total of 30 adult albino Wistar rats of both sexes were used in this study. Fifteen of them were used for acute toxicity test. The second stage of the experiment was performed with 15 rats which received 500 mg/kg, 750 mg/kg, 1000 mg/kg, and 1250 mg/kg of MSG thoroughly mixed with the feeds, respectively, with unlimited supply of drinking water on daily basis for 8 weeks. Group E, which was the control, received an equal amount of feeds without MSG. The animals' weights were measured weekly, constantly observed daily for systemic effects and later sacrificed at the end of 8 weeks in a desiccator under anesthesia with ether following an overnight fast. Blood was obtained by left ventricular cardiac puncture for biochemical analysis. The kidneys, heart, lungs, spleen, liver, and testis were dissected and fixed in 10% formal saline for histological examination using hematoxylin and eosin (Hand E) methods. Results: There was a significant increase in the mean weight of the animals and controls (P < 0.05). There was a significant decrease in the mean serum cholesterol levels, a significant increase in the mean fasting plasma glucose, and plasma alanine transferase levels of the experimental animals when compared with the controls (P < 0.05). The histological finding revealed a reduction in spermatocytes in testes of animals fed with 1000 mg/kg MSG plus necrosis and scanty seminiferous tubules. There was massive necrosis on the liver and lungs, fatty change in the spleen and degenerative changes of heart muscle cells. There were also irregular spaces of various shapes and sizes and necrosis in the kidney. Conclusion: The study demonstrated that consumption of MSG has deleterious effects in virtually all organs which will apparently affect their functions.

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