Kolawole TA, Ojeka SO and Dapper DV
The aim of the present study is to determine the anti-diabetic effects of the methanolic extract of the rind of Citrullus lanatus (water melon) in alloxan induced diabetes in male albino wistar rats. Thirty five rats weighing between 180g and 250g were randomly assigned to seven groups: 1 to 7. Diabetes was induced in all the rats except Group 1 by intraperitoneal injection of 150mg/kg bw of alloxan. Group 1 rats served as positive control and received 2ml/kg bw of extract vehicle; Group 2 rats served as negative controls: the untreated diabetic group; Groups 3, 4 and 5 rats received 100mg/kg bw, 200mg/kg bw and 500mg/kg bw of the methanolic extract of the rind of Citrullus lanatus respectively; while Group 6 received 600μg/kg bw of oral g libenclamide, and Group 7 received (10iu/kg) of subcutaneous insulin. The drugs and extracts were administered orally via oral cannula for 30days. After a 24 hour fast, blood samples were collected from anaesthetized rats using chloroform and via cardiac puncture for biochemical and hematological assays. Results obtained showed that administration of the extract caused significant decr ease in the levels of triglycerides, low density lipoprotein-cholesterol, very low density lipoprotein-cholesterol; with increases in high density lipoprotein-cholesterol in Groups 4 and 5 only compared to Group 2 rats (p<0.05). Treatment with the extract caused significant lowering of the levels of urea and creatinine in Groups 3, 4 and 5 rats compared with Group 2 rats (p<0.05). There was significant decrease in the levels of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkalin e phosphatase and glycosylated hemoglobin in rats of Groups 3, 4 and 5 compared to Group 2 rats (p<0.05). The results obtained from the extract groups were fairly similar to that obtained for rats in Groups 6 and 7 treated with standard anti-diabetic agents. The results suggest that the methanolic extract of the rind of Citrullus lanatus could possibly normalize some biochemical and hematological abnormalities associated with the pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus in a dose dependent manner.
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