Abridged : Neurotoxicity ResearchNeurodegeneration, Neuroregeneration, Neurotrophic Action, and Neuroprotection© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 201110.1007/s12640-011-9264-9Omar M. E. Abdel-Salam1 , Neveen A. Salem1 and Jihan Seid Hussein2(1)Department of Toxicology and Narcotics, National Research Centre, Tahrir St., Dokki, Cairo, Egypt (2)Department of Medical Biochemistry, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt
The dipeptide aspartame (1-methyl N-L-alpha-aspartyl-Lphenylalanine) is a low-calorie sweetener that is widely used in human foods and beverages. The present study provides the evidence that the dietary sweetener aspartame increases oxidative stress in the brain of mice. In summary, findings in the present study suggest that in LPS-treated mice, aspartame significantly increases the levels of lipid peroxidation and nitrite in brain. In addition, aspartame itself impairs cellular antioxidant status because of the decreased brain levels of GSH, and glucose. Thus, aspartame increases oxidative stress in brain which could have important implications in view of the fact that oxidative stress is implicated in various brain pathologies and that the agent is one of the most widely used artificial sweeteners in human foods and drinks. Evidence is accumulating with regard to supporting an important role for oxidative stress and increased inflammatory response in the pathogenesis of several brain diseases and neurodegenerative disorders.