Effects of Camel Milk on Antioxidant Activity in Rats with Valproic Acid-induced Autism

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Iran

2 Department of Medical Biotechnology and Nanotechnology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Iran

3 Associate Professor of Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Iran

4 Department of Traditional Medicine, School of Medicine, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran

5 Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction: Autism spectrum disorder refers to a wide range of nervous system disorders. Autistic patients often have a defective antioxidant defense system and manifest symptoms of impaired cognitive interaction. Camel milk has numerous beneficial nutrients and has been used in the treatment of autism. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of camel milk on the antioxidant activity and enzymes of autistic rats. Methods: Pregnant rats were intraperitoneally injected on embryonic day 12.5 with valproic acid (VPA; 500 mg/kg) to induce an autistic state. In addition, 18 male offspring rats were injected with risperidone (0.2 mg/kg) three times per week. Six of these cases were fed daily with raw camel milk (10 ml/kg), and six others were fed with pasteurized camel milk for 42 days. Social interaction and repetitive behaviors were measured using the Y-maze based on catalase (CAT) activity, glutathione (GSH) level, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity at the outset and after the treatment period. Results: Behavioral symptoms (impaired social interaction and repetitive behaviors) were evident after VPA administration. After receiving treatment, impaired social interaction and repetitive behaviors significantly improved in the autistic rats (P<0.01). In addition, VPA enhanced the oxidative stress status in the biochemical tests (P<0.001), and camel milk increased CAT activity (P<0.001), GSH level (P<0.05), and SOD activity (P<0.0001). Conclusion: According to the results, camel milk could recover the VPA-induced impairment of social interaction and repetitive behaviors in the autistic rats and improve the defects in their antioxidant defense system.


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