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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 45  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 104-113

Effect of monosodium glutamate on body weight and the histological structure of the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex in young male albino rats


Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Doaa A Radwan
Lecturer in Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, 5 Hassan Kamel Street, Tanta
Egypt
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DOI: 10.4103/tmj.tmj_11_17

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Introduction Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is commonly used as a flavor enhancer in both home and restaurant cooking. Aim The aim of this work was to clarify the possible effect of MSG administration on the body weight and the histological structure of the zona fasciculata (ZF) of the adrenal cortex in young male albino rats and to assess whether or not this effect was reversible. Materials and methods A total of 40 male albino rats aged 4 weeks were weighed at the onset of the study and then divided into two equal groups. The control rats (group I) were held without medication either for 2 weeks (group Ia) or for 4 weeks (group Ib) and then killed. The experimental rats (group II) received a daily oral dose of MSG (4 mg/g body weight) dissolved in 3 ml of distilled water for 2 weeks and then 10 of them were killed 2 h after the last dose (group IIa); the other 10 rats were held without medication for another 2 weeks and then killed (group IIb). All rats were weighed before scarification. Sections of the adrenal glands were examined with light and electron microscopes. Thickness of the ZF was measured in all subgroups. Data of the final body weight and ZF thickness were analyzed as mean±SD and P values were calculated. Results Statistically, the final body weight of rats increased in both groups IIa and IIb and also the thickness of the ZF increased in group IIa as compared with their controls. Histologically, group IIa showed loss of the cord-like architecture of ZF cells. They appeared distended with highly vacuolated cytoplasm that was ultrastructurally full of lipid droplets. Group IIb revealed partial improvement and retained normal thickness and structure of the ZF. Conclusion MSG causes histopathological changes in the ZF of the adrenal cortex, increasing its thickness and its secretion, and this could explain the increased final body weight. These changes are reversible but may need a long time to regain their normal values.


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