Effects of Momordica balsamina methanolic extract on cardiovascular and haematological function in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats : effects on selected markers.
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Background The hyperglycaemia-induced haemanetic changes reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of erythrocytes, thus aggravating cardiovascular disorders in diabetic patients. The conventional therapies have been shown to be associated with the progression of haematological and cardiovascular dysfunction, which may not be favorable for patients with congestive heart failure. We have previously shown the anti-hyperglycaemic and antioxidant properties of Momordica balsamina (MB) methanolic extract which may be of benefit in alleviating cardiovascular disorders, thus providing an effective alternative therapy. The current study therefore, investigated the short-term effects of MB methanolic extract on cardiovascular and haematological function in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Methods Briefly, air-dried MB leaves were extracted with methanol to yield a methanolic extract. STZ-induced diabetic rats were divided into untreated and treated groups with insulin (170 μg kg-1 s.c.) and metformin (500 mg kg-1 p.o.) as standard drugs. MB (250 mg kg-1 p.o.) was administered twice daily for 5 weeks. Blood glucose concentration, body weight and blood pressure were monitored weekly for 5 weeks. Terminally, animals were sacrificed after which blood, heart and kidneys were collected for haematological and biochemical analysis. Histological analysis was also performed on the hearts. Results MB significantly decreased blood glucose concentration from week 3-5 by comparison with diabetic untreated animals. Treatment with MB reduced oxidative stress in the plasma, kidney and heart while improving their antioxidant status compared with untreated diabetic animals. This was associated with increased EPO secretion by the kidneys thus improving RBC production and haemoglobin concentrations. MB moderately increased erythrocyte indices: mean cell volume (MCV), mean cell haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) and mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) by comparison with untreated diabetic animals. MB ameliorated heart hypertrophy and decreased CRP, CT-I and Ang-II concentrations by comparison with untreated diabetic animals. MB also decreased MAP by comparison with untreated diabetic animals.Conclusion MB administration protects against hyperglycaemia-induced cardiovascular and haematological changes by attenuating hyperglycaemia, oxidative stress in both the kidney and heart tissues of STZ-induced diabetic rats, which may reduce the risks of cardiac myopathology complications in diabetes mellitus.