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Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) and kaffir lime (Citrus hystrix DC.) teas are popularly consumed in many countries around the world to promote health including enhancing memory. However, the effects of these two plants on acetylcholinesterase (AChE), a key enzyme involved in the development of Alzheimer’ disease, as well as the effects on brain structure, were still limited. Therefore, this research was done to investigate the possible effects of lemongrass and kaffir lime teas on AChE activity and brain histology of male rats. Eight-week-old male albino rats were randomly divided into five groups of six rats each. The first group was the normal control group, and they were orally administered dechlorinated water. The second and the third groups were received lemongrass tea (33 mg/ml) for 12 and 24 hours per day while the fourth and the fifth groups were received kaffir lime tea (33 mg/ml) for 12 and 24 hours per day. The animals in the treatment groups were given unrestricted access to the teas. After 30 days of the treatment period, all rats were euthanized by diethyl ether and their brains were collected to determine AChE activity by enzymatic spectrophotometric method and histology. The results demonstrated the significant elevation (p<0.05) of hippocampal AChE activities in all teas-treated groups when compared to the normal control group. Nevertheless, the significant increases (p<0.05) in cerebral AChE activities were found only in kaffir lime teas-treated rats when compared to the normal control rats. Histological investigation showed no alterations in the structures of hippocampus and cerebral cortex of rats treated with lemongrass and kaffir lime teas. The arrangement of neurons and neuronal morphology were normal and similar to the nervous tissues seen in the normal control group. It can be concluded that both lemongrass and kaffir lime teas were found to affect brain function by elevating AChE activities in the brain.
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