Objective: Carica papaya is an important fruit with its seeds used in the treatment of ulcer in Nigeria. This study investigated the anti-ulcerogenic and antioxidant activities of aqueous extract of Carica papaya seed against indomethacin-induced peptic ulcer in male rats.
Methods: Thirty male rats were separated into 6 groups (A-F) of five rats each. For 14 d before ulcer induction with indomethacin, groups received once daily oral doses of vehicle (distilled water), cimetidine 200 mg/kg body weight (BW), or aqueous extract of C. papaya seed at doses of 100, 150 or 200 mg/kg BW (groups A, B, C, D, E and F, respectively). Twenty-four hours after the last treatment, groups B, C, D, E and F were treated with 100 mg/kg BW of indomethacin to induce ulcer formation.
Results: Carica papaya seed extract significantly (P< 0.05) increased gastric pH and percentage of ulcer inhibition relative to indomethacin-induced ulcer rats. The extract significantly (P< 0.05) decreased gastric acidity, gastric acid output, gastric pepsin secretion, ulcer index and gastric secretion volume relative to group B. These results were similar to that achieved by pretreatment with cimetidine. Specific activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in the extract-treated groups (D, E and F) were increased significantly over the group B (P< 0.05). Pretreatment with the seed extract protected rats from the indomethacin-mediated decrease in enzyme function experienced by the group B. Similarly, indomethacin-mediated decrease in reduced glutathione level and indomethacin-mediated increase in malondialdehyde were reversed by Carica papaya extract.
Conclusion: In this study, pretreatment with aqueous extract of Carica papaya seed exhibited anti-ulcerogenic and antioxidant effects, which may be due to the enhanced antioxidant enzymes.