Background: This work was designed to study the histological and ultrastructure abnormalities in the liver induced by high dose of aspartame (ASP) in normal and diabetic rats.
Methods: Forty adult male rats were used in this study and divided into four groups with ten animals for each. Rats of group one served as controls and administered vehicle. Rats of group two were administered aspartame (ASP) at 200 mg/Kg bwt once daily for 4 weeks. Rats of group three (D) were given streptozotocin (STZ) one time at a dose of 70 mg/Kg bwt. The fourth group (D+ASP) was represented by diabetic rats administered with aspartame at 200 mg/Kg bwt.
Results: The most obvious changes that occurred in the liver treated rats were destruction of hepatocytes which led to necrosis, the appearance of large areas of rarified cytoplasm separating dense areas of cellular organelles, disorganization of cellular organelles, increase in collagenous fibers and depletion of polysaccharides (carbohydrate content of hepatocytes).
Conclusions: Our results indicated that ASP administration may be responsible for the morphological alternations of liver in both normal and diabetic animals.
Keywords: Aspartame, diabetes, streptozotocin, ultrastructure