The Novel Antihyperglycaemic Action of Hunteria umbellate Seed Fractions Mediated Via Intestinal Glucose Uptake Inhibition
The present study evaluated the antihyperglycaemic effect and mechanism of action of fractions of the aqueous seed extract of Hunteria umbellata (K. Schum.) Hallier f. (HU) in normal and alloxan-induced hyperglycaemic rats. HU was partitioned in chloroform, acetyl acetate and butan-1-ol to give chloroform fraction (HUc), ethyl acetate fraction (HUe), butanol fraction (HUb) and the “residue” (HUm), respectively. 200 mg/kg of each of these fraction dissolved in 5% Tween 20 in distilled water was investigated for its acute oral hypoglycaemic effects in normal rats over 6 hours while its repeated dose antihyperglycaemic effect was evaluated in alloxan-induced hyperglycaemic rats over 5 days. In addition, 50 mg/kg of the crude alkaloid fraction (HUAf) extracted from HU was evaluated for its possible antihyperglycaemic activity in alloxaninduced hyperglycaemic rats using oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) over 6 hours. Using the solvent system, distilled water-butanol-ammonium hydroxide (2:15:1, v/v/v), HUb was chromatographed and stained with Dragendorff’s reagent for confirmatory qualitative analysis for alkaloids. Results showed that oral pre-treatment with 200 mg/kg of HUe, HUb and HUm resulted in a significant (p<0.05, p<0.001) time dependent hypoglycaemic effect, with the butan-1-ol fraction HU causing the most significant (p<0.001) hypoglycaemic effect. In the alloxan-induced hyperglycaemic rats, repeated oral treatment with 200 mg/kg of same HU fractions for 5 days resulted in significant (p<0.05) decreases in the fasting blood glucose concentrations with the most significant (p<0.01) antihyperglycaemic effect also recorded for HUb. Similarly, oral pretreatment with 50 mg/kg of HUAf significantly (p<0.05, p<0.01 and p<0.001) attenuated an increase in the post-absorptive glucose concentration at 1st -6th h in the alloxan-induced hyperglycaemic OGTT model. In addition, alkaloid was present in most of the separated spots on the TLC plate. In conclusion, results of this study showed that HU contains a relative high amount of alkaloids which could have accounted for the antihyperglycaemic action of HU that was mediated via intestinal glucose uptake inhibition.
Key words: Hunteria umbellata aqueous seed extract, Alkaloid fraction, Intestinal glucose uptake inhibition, Normal and alloxan-induced hyperglycaemic rats