• 1 Universiti Teknologi MARA
  • 2 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre
Medicine & Health, 2016;11(2):232-244.


The occurrence of severe lead (Pb) poisoning has risen in certain countries.
There is increasing evidence that chronic lead exposure disturbs the prooxidant:
antioxidant balance in the brain tissue and alters brain histology. The present
study observed the antioxidant effect of tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) on brain
tissues of the experimental rats following lead poisoning. Eighteen (n=18) male
Sprague-Dawley rats, 6-weeks old, were randomly divided into control (CTRL)
group and experimental groups; fed with 0.2% w/v lead acetate, as PB2 group;
and fed with 0.2% w/v lead acetate and daily TRF supplementation (200 mg/kg
body weight) as PB2T group. The experiment was conducted for 30 days. At the
end of the study, the brain tissues were harvested and histopathological changes of
the hippocampal region were observed. Biochemical findings such as brain lead,
TRF and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, and erythrocyte superoxide dismutase
(SOD) activity were determined. It was observed that atypical apoptotic-like and
disorganized neurons were present in the hippocampal region of the untreated
PB2 group compared to PB2T group. Biochemical parameters showed a significant
decrease (p < 0.05) in brain lead level in PB2T compared to PB. Even though no
significant difference (p > 0.05) was obtained for MDA level, there was a significant
increase (p < 0.05) in the erythrocyte SOD activity in PB2T compared to PB2 and
CTRL. Supplementation with TRF improved histopathological changes in the brain
tissues caused by lead exposure in drinking water by reducing lead accumulation
in the brain of experimental rats.