Medicinal plants attract growing interest in the therapeutic management of Diabetes mellitus. Moringa oleifera is a remarkably nutritious vegetable with several antioxidant properties. The present study assessed the possible antioxidant and antidiabetic effects of an aqueous extract of M. oleifera leaves in treating streptozotocin-induced diabetic albino rats. The antidiabetic effects of aqueous extract of M. oleifera leaves were assessed histomorphometrically, ultrastructurally and biochemically. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) was monitored and morphometric measurements of β-cells of islets of Langerhans (modified Gomori's stain) and collagen fibers (Mallory's trichrome stain) were performed. The antioxidant effects of M. oleifera leaves were determined by measuring the reduced glutathione and lipid peroxidation product, malondialdehyde, in pancreatic tissue. M. oleifera treatment significantly ameliorated the altered FPG (from 380% to 145%), reduced glutathione (from 22% to 73%) and malondialdehyde (from 385% to 186%) compared to control levels. The histopathological damage of islet cells was also markedly reversed. Morphometrically, M. oleifera significantly increased the areas of positive purple modified Gomori stained β-cells (from 60% to 91%) and decreased the area percentage of collagen fibers (from 199% to 120%) compared to control values. Experimental findings clearly indicate the potential benefits of using the aqueous extract of M. oleifera leaves as a potent antidiabetic treatment.
Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; Moringa oleifera; Oxidative stress; Rat; Ultrastructure; β-cells.
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