Chemical profile of launaea nudicaulis ethanolic extract and its antidiabetic effect in streptozotocin-induced rats

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Launaea nudicaulis is used in folk medicine worldwide to treat several diseases. The present study aimed to assess the antidiabetic activity of L. nudicaulis ethanolic extract and its effect on diabetic complications in streptozotocin-induced hyperglycemic rats. The extract was orally administrated at 250 and 500 mg/kg/day for 5-weeks and compared to glibenclamide as a reference drug at a dose of 5 mg/kg/day. Administration of the extract exhibited a potential hypoglycemic effect manifested by a significant depletion of serum blood glucose concurrent with a significant elevation in serum insulin secretion. After 5-weeks, extract at 250 and 500 mg/kg/day decreased blood glucose levels by about 53.8 and 68.1%, respectively, compared to the initial values (p _ 0.05). The extract at the two dosages prevented weight loss of rats from the 2nd week till the end of the experiment, compared to diabetic control rats. The extract further exhibited marked improvement in diabetic complications including liver, kidney and testis performance, oxidative stress, and relative weight of vital organs, with respect to diabetic control. Histopathological examinations confirmed the previous biochemical analysis, where the extract showed a protective effect on the pancreas, liver, kidney, and testis that degenerated in diabetic control rats. To characterize extract composition, UPLC-ESI-qTOF-MS identified 85 chromatographic peaks belonging to flavonoids, phenolics, acyl glycerols, nitrogenous compounds, and fatty acids, with four novel phenolics reported. The potential anti-diabetic effect warrants its inclusion in further studies and or isolation of the main bioactive agent(s).

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