Aim: To investigate the effect of quercetin supplementation on the myenteric neurons and glia in the cecum of diabetic rats. Methods: Total preparations of the muscular tunic were prepared from the ceca of twenty-four rats divided into the following groups: control (C), control supplemented with quercetin (200 mg/kg quercetin body weight) (CQ), diabetic (D) and diabetic supplemented with quercetin (DQ). Immunohistochemical double staining technique was performed with HuC/D (general population)/nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), HuC-D/S-100 and VIP. Density analysis of the general neuronal population HuC/D-IR, the nNOS-IR (nitrergic subpopulation) and the enteric glial cells (S-100) was performed, and the morphometry and the reduction in varicosity population (VIP-IR) in these populations were analyzed. Results: Diabetes promoted a significant reduction (25%) in the neuronal density of the HuC/D-IR (general population) and the nNOS-IR (nitrergic subpopulation) compared with the C group. Diabetes also significantly increased the areas of neurons, glial cells and VIP-IR varicosities. Supplementation with quercetin in the DQ group prevented neuronal loss in the general population and increased its area (P < 0.001) and the area of nitrergic subpopulation (P < 0.001), when compared to C group. Quercetin induced a VIP-IR and glial cells areas (P < 0.001) in DQ group when compared to C, CQ and D groups. Conclusion: In diabetes, quercetin exhibited a neuroprotective effect by maintaining the density of the general neuronal population but did not affect the density of the nNOS subpopulation.
- Enteric glia
- Myenteric plexus
- Neuronal nitric oxide synthase
- Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide
ASJC Scopus subject areas