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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2020, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (1): 59-67.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2019.12.002

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of Citrullus colocynthis L. in a rat model of diabetic neuropathy

Mohadeseh Ostovara, Abolfazl Akbarib, Mohammad Hossein Anbardarc, Aida Irajid, Mohsen Salmanpoure, Salar Hafez Ghoranf, Mojtaba Heydarig, Mesbah Shamsh   

  1. a. Department of Traditional Persian Medicine, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz 73, Iran
    b. Department of Physiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz 73, Iran
    c. Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz 73, Iran
    d. Central Research Laboratory, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz 73, Iran
    e. Department of Pharmaceutics, Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery, Pharmacy School, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz 73, Iran
    f. Department of Chemistry, Golestan University, Gorgan 49, Iran
    g. Research Center for Traditional Medicine and History of Medicine, Iran School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz 73, Iran 
    h. Endocrine and Metabolism Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz 73, Iran

  • Online:2020-01-15 Published:2019-12-15
  • Contact: Mesbah Shams E-mail:Shams@sums.ac.ir

Objective

This study investigated the biochemical, histopathological and physiological effects of Citrullus colocynthis on peripheral neuropathy in rats with streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes.

Methods

Seventy adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were included in the present study. Diabetes was induced in 60 rats, with a single intraperitoneal injection of STZ (65 mg/kg). After 4 weeks, the diabetic rats were assessed for neuropathy. Then, the diabetic rats with neuropathy were randomly divided into 6 groups for a 4-week treatment with gabapentin, oral administration of C. colocynthis fruit pulp powder (100 and 300 mg/kg per day), topical preparations as oil-based solution and ointment, or placebo. Changes in metabolic, physiological, biochemical and histological parameters were considered as treatment outcomes.


Results

Metabolic outcomes (body weight and blood glucose level) were improved in the C. colocynthis-treated groups as compared to placebo. Tail-flick and hot-plate tests also had lower latency in the C. colocynthis-treated groups. Measurement of oxidative stress markers (malondialdehyde, superoxide dismutase and catalase) showed the antioxidant effect of C. colocynthis. Histological evaluation of the sciatic nerve showed that C. colocynthis decreased the number of demyelinated and degenerated nerve fibers. Among the C. colocynthis-treated groups, the one receiving 100 mg/kg per day oral powder had the best treatment outcomes.

Conclusion

The present study showed that C. colocynthis fruit, through its antioxidant and hypoglycemic activities, has a positive effect in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

Key words: Citrullus colocynthis, Diabetic neuropathy, Diabetes mellitus, Herbal medicine, Natural medicine, Traditional Persian medicine

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