Anti-diabetic and toxicological studies of the alkaloids of Acanthus Montanus (Acanthaceae) leaf
This study was conducted to determine the anti-diabetic effect and safety profile of alkaloids of Acanthus montanus leaf (AAML). The anti-diabetic study was carried out using alloxan-induced diabetic rats by daily intraperitoneal administration of AAML at doses of 100, 200 and 400mg/kg for 4 weeks and 8 weeks. The toxicological assessment of AAML was also done by determining the haematological, biochemical and urinary parameters in blood, serum, and urine samples respectively at the end of the tested periods. In the acute toxicity test, mice were administered intraperitoneally with AAML up to 5000mg/kg. Animals were then observed for behavioural changes, signs of toxicity, and mortality within 24h. Surviving mice were monitored for 7 days for signs of delayed toxicity. Result of the anti-diabetic study shows significant (P<0.05) dose-dependent reduction (42.68%) in blood sugar levels of the hyperglycemic rats when compared with glibenclamide (standard drug). In the acute toxicity test, extract was practically non-toxic showing no mortality and visible signs of delayed toxicity. Administered for 4 weeks, the extract did not produce any significant (P <0.05) effect on haematological and biochemical parameters. In the 8 week study, the extract elicited significant (P <0.05) increases in platelet and WBC count and reductions in levels of liver enzymes (AST, ALT, and ALP), total cholesterol, HDL, triglycerides, and total protein. Results obtained in this study suggest that the alkaloids of leaf Acanthus montanus leaf is safe when administered intraperitoneally with potential beneficial effects as immunostimulant, hepatoprotective, and hypocholestrolemic agent, when administered over a long period of time.