A study on the glycaemic balance in streptozotocin-diabetic rats treated with an aqueous extract ofFicus carica (fig tree) leaves

A study on the glycaemic balance in streptozotocin-diabetic rats treated with an aqueous extract ofFicus carica (fig tree) leaves
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  PHYTOTHERAPY RESEARCH, VOL. 10,82-83 1996) SHORT COMMUNICATION A Study on the Glycaemic Balance in Streptozotocin-diabetic Rats Treated with an Aqueous Extract of Ficus c ric Fig Tree) Leaves C. Pkrez,* E. Dominguez, J. M. Ramiro, A. Romero, J. E. Campillo and M. D. Torres Department of Physiology, University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain The hypoglycaemic effect of an aqueous extract of Ficus cariCa leaves was studied in streptozotocin-diabetic ats. The extract induced a significant hypoglycaemic effect after either oral- or intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration. Body weight loss was prevented in treated diabetic rats and the survival index was significantly affected by plasma insulin levels. Results show that Ficus cariCn aqueous extract has a clear hypoglycaemic activity in treated versus non-treated diabetic rats. The mechanism involved in such an effect is not elucidated. Keywords: Ficus carica; glycaemic balance; hypoglycaemic activity; antidiabetic plants; streptozotocin-diabetic rats INTRODUCTION Traditional plant medicines are used throughout the world for a range of diabetic presentations (Bailey and Day, 1989; Ivorra et af., 1989). The growing trend in western countries towards natural medicines has stimu- lated a new wave of research in traditional practices (Swanston-Flatt et af., 1990). In Extremadura, decoc- tions of Ficus carica leaves are used in the folklore treatment of diabetes. This paper describes a study of the antidiabetic activity of this plant. MATERIAL AND METHODS Adult Wistar female rats (200-250 g) were supplied with a standard pellet diet (Sanders, Spain). Diabetes was induced by i.p. injection (80 mg/kg b.w.) of strep- tozotocin (Sigma, St. Louis, Mo. USA) in citrate buffer pH 4.5. Filtered decoctions (100 g) of dried leaves from Ficus carica, boiled in 900mL water for 30 min were divided into nine doses and each dose was supplied daily in lieu of drinking water to diabetic and non- diabetic rats. Food and fluid were supplied ad libitum Body weight and blood glucose (glucose oxidase method, Boehringer Mannheim) were measured weekly and plasma insulin (RIA, Linco’s Rat Insulin) monthly. To test the acute hypoglycaemic activity of Ficus carica, studies were carried out on variations of blood glucose (glycaemic balance) after intraperitoneal administration of 3 I.U. of insulin (pork insulin, Velosulin Nordisk), with or without a simultaneous i.p. administration of an aqueous extract from Ficus carica. ’ uthor to whom correspondence should be addressed. This test was performed either in chronically treated or non-treated rats. Blood samples were obtained by inci- sion of the tail at 0,30,60, 120 min and 24 h. Statistical analyses were carried out using MANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis test, and p<0.05 was taken to be significant. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION A hypoglycaemic activity of the aqueous extract of Ficus carica administered orally has been demonstrated in diabetic rats. There was a decrease of glucose levels, a prevention of body weight loss and an increased survival index (Perez et al. 1992). Similar results have been reported by Swanston-Flatt (1990) for the dried leaves of agrimony, alfalfa, blackberry, eucalyptus, BLOOD GLUCOSE 8 ase level) I10 70i 30 60 90 60 TlME min) Figure 1. Glycaemic balance ( above initial level) in 15 dia- betic rats treated with Ficus carica extract by oral gastric cannula) or ntraperitoneal administration. CCC 0951-418X/ /010082-02 1996 by John Wiley Sons, Ltd. Accepted 25 January 1995  GLYCAEMIC BALANCE IN STREPTOZOTOCIN-DIABETIC RATS 83 120- 110- 100- 90 8 - 70 lady's mantle and lily of the valley. We concur with Konno (1985) and Hikino (1985) that a reduction in hyperglycaemia cannot be attributed to an effect of fibre because Ficus curicu extract is active after i.p. administration. Comparing the activity of Ficus curicu extract after oral (gastric cannula) and i.p. administ- ration, there was the same decrease in glucose levels after 90 rnin (20 above initial level), however the decrease was faster after i.p. administration (17 at 30 BLOOD GLUCOSE 40 Base level) I Ou 5 0 30 60 120 24h TIME Figure 2. Glycaemic balance ( above initial level) in diabetic rats treated with 0 3 I.U. i.p. insulin (n=31), * diabetic rats treated with 3 I.U. 1.p. insulin 1 dose of Ficus carica extract (n=9), and diabetic-Ficus carica treated rats with 3 I.U. 1.p. insulin. p<0.05. rnin by i.p., but the same decrease was detected at 90 rnin after oral administration) (Fig. 1). The glycaemic balance after insulin administration in diabetic rats (Fig. 2), showed that the decrease in glucose at 120 rnin was not as clear (only 9 above the initial level, n = 15) and the 'rebound effect' after 24h was significantly smaller (7 above the initial level, p <0.05). The same effect was observed in diabetic rats treated with insulin in addition to a dose of Ficus curicu extract i.p. (14 of decrease at 120 min and 2 of increase at 24 h, n = 9) (Fig. 2). The action of insulin was not amplified by Ficus curicu extract activity because at 120 rnin (Fig. l), the typical decrease of glucose levels not only was not higher, but seemed inhibited. In agreement with Augusti and Benaim (1975) and Day and Bailey (1986) on studies of Allium it is probable that there was not an increase in insulin release, since the Ficus curicu extract activity continued for 24 h after the effect of insulin administration had disappeared. As Frati-Munari (1988) reports for the stem extracts Opuntiu streptucunthu there is probably a substance with an extrapancreatic activity present. REFERENCES Augusti, K. T. and Benaim, M. E. (1975). Effect of essential oil of onion (ally1 propyl disulphide) on blood glucose, free fatty acid and insulin levels of normal subjects. Clin. Chem. Acta Bailey, C. J. and Day, C. (1989). Traditional plant medicines as treatments for diabetes. Diabetes Care 12,8, 553-564. Day, C., and Bailey, C. J. (1986). The Allium alliance. Nutr. food Sci. 90, 20-21. Frati-Munari, A. C. eta/. (1988). Hypoglycemic effect of Opuntia streptacantha Lernaire in NIDDM. Diabetes Care 11,63-66. Hikino, H. et a/. (1985). Isolation and hypoglycemic activity of ganoderans B, glycans of Ganoderma lucidum fruit bodies. Planta Med. 51, 339-340. 60 121-123. Ivorra, M. D. et a/. (1989). A review of natural products and plants as potential antidiabetic drugs. J Ethnopharrnacol. Konno, C. et a/. (1985). Isolation and hypoglycemic activity of Lithospermans A, B and C, glycans of Lithospermun erytror- hizon roots. Plants Med. 51, 157-158. Perez, C. et a/. (1992). Fitoterapia de la Diabetes Mellitus. El efecto de las hojas de Ficus carica (Higuera). Avances en Diabetologia 5, 71-80. Swanston-Flatt, S. K. et a/. (1990). Traditional plant treatments for diabetes: studies in normal and streptozotocin diabetic mice. Diabetologia 33, 462-464. 27,243-275.
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