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Effect of aqueous leaf extract of <i>Ficus exasperata</i> in alloxan-induced diabetic Wistar rats

Toyin M. Yakubu
Ahmad K. Salau
O.B . Oloyede
Musbau A. Akanji


Aqueous leaf extract of F. exasperata at the doses of 2.5, 12.5 and 25 mg/kg body weight was investigated for its acclaimed antidiabetic activity in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Forty-two albino rats weighing 170-190 g were assigned into six groups (A-F) of seven animals each. Rats in group A (non-diabetic) received 1.0 ml of distilled water orally, thrice daily for 8 days while those in groups B, C, D, E and F were made diabetic (150 mg/kg body weight of alloxan) and treated like non-diabetic except they received in addition, 1.0 ml each of distilled water (to maintain a similar treatment across all the groups), glibenclamide (2.5 mg/kg body weight), 2.5, 12.5 and 25 mg/kg body weight of the extract, respectively. Several biomolecules that relates to diabetes were assessed using standard methods. The extract contained alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids and phenolics. The fasting blood glucose of the diabetic rats at the end of the experimental period reduced significantly (P<0.05) following the administration of all the doses of the extract with those of 12.5 and 25 mg/kg body weight comparing favourably (P>0.05) with the glibenclamide and distilled water treated animals. The urine sugar (>2%) in the diabetic rats disappeared in the other treatment groups except traces (0.25%) of sugar in the 2.5 mg/kg body weight extract treated animals. The significantly elevated serum creatinine, urea, uric acid, albumin and total cholesterol in the diabetic animals were attenuated by the extract. Furthermore, the significantly reduced absolute weight of the pancreas, packed cell volume and haemoglobin in the distilled water treated diabetic rats were attenuated by the extract. Overall, the extract possesses antidiabetic activity with 12.5 and 25 mg/kg body weight being the most effective doses. The aqueous leaf extract of F. exasperata could also be explored in the control of some of the metabolic dysfunctions usually associated with diabetes.

Keywords: Alloxan, Anti-diabetic, Diabetes, Ficus exasperata, Moraceae