Hypoglycaemic activity and other pharmacological properties of tragia tennifolia (fam. euphorbiaceae)

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The hypoglycaemic effect of Tragia tennfolia was studied in alloxan-induced diabetic rats, rats subjected to oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and rats subjected to a fasting plasma glucose test (FPG). An infusion of T. tennifolia insignificantly reduced (P > 0.05) glycaemic levels alongside glibenclamide (an oral hypoglycaemic agent) and metformin (an euglycaemic agent ) and insignificantly (P > 0.05) affected some diabetes related parameters (polyuria, polyphagia polydipsia, glucosuria and body weight) measured in alloxan-induced diabetes mellitus as compared to insulin. The area under the OGTT curve reduced significantly with the peak plasma glucose concentration reducing by 60 % on administration of Ttennfolia to normal rats. The FPG in normal rats was also reduced by 33.1 % after 5 hours. This indicates that an infusion of Tragia tennfolia has prominent hypoglycaemic effect in normal rats. The drug is effective in decreasing hyperglycaemia in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) at a dose level of 53 mg/kg but not in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Experiments on the isolated guinea-pig ileum, the rat annococcygeus muscle and the rat uterus preparations indicates that Tragia tennfolia has muscarinic, histaminic, α-adrenergic and some β-adrenergic receptor activity with its muscarinic activity possibly accounting for the hypoglycaemic effect. No acute toxic symptoms were observed after an oral administration of up to 8 g/kg of Tragia tennfolia extract and sub-acute studies revealed no damage to vital organs like the liver and kidney.
A thesis submitted to the College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science in Pharmacy, 2001