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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


CALDERON-GUZMAN, David et al. Biochemical and histological changes produced by sweeteners and cytarabine in the brain of young rats. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2018, vol.35, n.1, pp.194-200. ISSN 1699-5198.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of splenda and stevia on dopamine and 5-HIAA levels, and some biomarkers of oxidative stress in the presence of cytarabine.


Forty-eight young male Wistar rats each with a weight of 80 g (four weeks of age), distributed in six groups of eight animals each, were treated as follows: group 1, control (NaCl 0.9% vehicle); group 2, cytarabine (0.6 g/kg); group 3, stevia (0.6 g/kg); group 4, cytarabine + stevia; group 5, splenda; and group 6, cytarabine + splenda. Cytarabine was given intravenously (IV) while stevia and splenda were administered orally for five days, using orogastric tube. At the end of treatment, the animals were sacrificed and glucose levels in blood were measured. The brains were dissected for histological analysis and homogenated to measure levels of dopamine, lipid peroxidation (TBARS), serotonin metabolite (5-HIAA), Na+, K+ ATPase activity, and glutathione (GSH), using validated methods.


Sweeteners increased the glucose in animals that received cytarabine. Dopamine increased in cortex and decreased in striatum of animals that received stevia alone and combined with cytarabine. 5-HIAA decreased in striatum and cerebellum/medulla oblongata of animals that received sweeteners and cytarabine alone or combined. GSH increased in animals that received sweeteners and decreased with cytarabine. Lipoperoxidation decreased in groups that received sweeteners and cytarabine. Histopathological changes revealed marked degeneration of neuronal cells in animals treated with cytarabine.


These results show that sweeteners as stevia or splenda may lead to the onset of unfavorable changes in dopamine and 5-HIAA. Antioxidant effects may be involved. Besides, histological changes revealed marked lesions of neuronal cells in experimental animals treated with cytarabine.

Keywords : Cytarabine; Dopamine; Oxidative stress; Sweeteners.

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