Effect of Sclerocarya birrea (Anacardiaceae) stem bark methylene chloride/methanol extract on streptozotocin-diabetic rats.J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Apr 04; 110(3):434-8.JE
Sclerocarya birrea (Anacardiaceae) is used as a traditional treatment of diabetes in Cameroon. In this study, we investigated the possible antidiabetic effect of the stem bark extract in diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced by intravenous injection of streptozotocin (STZ, 55 mg/kg) to male Wistar rats. Experimental animals (six per group), were treated by oral administration of plant extract (150 and 300 mg/kg body weight) and metformin (500 mg/kg; reference drug) for comparison, during 21 days. The stem bark methanol/methylene chloride extract of Sclerocarya birrea exhibited at termination, a significant reduction in blood glucose and increased plasma insulin levels in diabetic rats. The extract also prevented body weight loss in diabetic rats. The effective dose of the plant extract (300 mg/kg) tended to reduce plasma cholesterol, triglyceride and urea levels toward the normal levels. Four days after diabetes induction, an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was also performed in experimental diabetic rats. The results showed a significant improvement in glucose tolerance in rats treated with Sclerocarya birrea extract. Metformin, a known antidiabetic drug (500 mg/kg), significantly decreased the integrated area under the glucose curve. These data indicate that Sclerocarya birrea treatment may improve glucose homeostasis in STZ-induced diabetes which could be associated with stimulation of insulin secretion.