Moringa oleifera phytochemicals protect the brain against experimental nicotine-induced neurobehavioural disturbances and cerebellar degeneration.


Nicotine is a neuro-stimulant that has been implicated in the pathophysiology of many brain diseases.The need to prevent or alleviate the resulting dysfunction is therefore paramount, which has also given way to the use of medicinal plants in the management of brain conditions. This study was designed to determine the histomorphological and neurobehavioural changes in the cerebellum of Wistar rats fol-lowing nicotine insult and how such injuries respond to Moringa intervention. Twenty-four adult male Wistar rats were divided into 4 groups. Group A and B were orally treated with normal saline and Moringa oleifera respectively for twenty-eight days; Group C was treated with nicotine while group D was treated orally with Moringa oleifera and intraperitoneally with nicotine for twenty-eight days. Animals were subjected to the open field test on the last day of treatment. 24 h after last day treatment, the animals were anesthetized and perfusion fixation was carried out. The cerebellum was excised and post-fixed in 4%paraformaldehyde and thereafter put through routine histological procedures. Results revealed cytoarchitectural distortion and extreme chromatolysis in neuronal cells of the cerebellar cortical layers in the nicotine-treated group. The Purkinje cells of the cerebellum of animals in this group were degenerated.There were also reduced locomotor activities in the group. Moringa was able to prevent the chromatolysis, distortion of the cerebellar cortical cells and neurobehavioural deficit. Our result suggests that Moringa oleifera could prevent nicotine-induced cerebellar injury in Wistar rats,



MORINGA, Nicotine, cerebellum, neurobehaviour


25: 57–62.