Objective: The present study investigated the anticataract activity of a novel isoflavonoid, isolated from stem bark of Alstonia scholaris, against fructose-induced experimental cataract.
Methods: The bioactivity of fractions extracted from A. scholaris, an isolated isoflavonoid (ASII) was screened using in vitro (goat lens) and in vivo (albino rats) experimental cataract models. For the in vivo evaluation, albino rats (12–15 weeks old) were divided into five groups (n = 6). Group I (normal) received 0.3% carboxymethyl cellulose solution (10 mL/[kg·d], p.o.). Group II (control) received 10% (w/v) fructose solution in their drinking water. Groups III–V received ASII at three different doses, 0.1, 1.0 and 10 mg/(kg·d), concurrently with 10% (w/v) fructose solution. Treatment was given daily for 8 consecutive weeks. During the protocol, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, blood glucose level and lenticular opacity were monitored at 2-week intervals. Pathophysiological markers (catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, reduced glutathione and malondialdehyde) in eye lenses were examined at the end of the 8-week treatment period.
Results: The results of in vitro study showed that A. scholaris extract and the active fraction (A3) reduced the lenticular opacity as compared to toxic control group. The in vivo study showed that 8-week administration of ASII (0.1, 1.0 and 10 mg/[kg·d], p.o.) led to significant reduction in blood pressure and blood glucose level and retarded the initiation and evolution of cataractogenesis, compared to the fructose-induced cataract model control. Additionally, ASII treatment led to significant improvement in lens antioxidants (catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and reduced glutathione) and decreased lens malondialdehyde, compared to the control group (group II).
Conclusion: Results revealed that administration of ASII played a crucial role in the reduction of cataract formation in diabetic and hypertensive models.