Maha M. El Deib, Haytham A. Ali


Balanites aegyptiaca (B. aegyptiaca) is an anti-diabetic medicinal plant traditionally used in Egyptian folk medicine as alternative therapy for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. No available studies revealed the mechanism(s) of the associated anti-diabetic effect especially at the molecular level. This study aimed to explore the possible molecular mechanism(s) that underline B. aegyptiaca fruits aqueous extract administration in diabetic and non-diabetic rats. Four equal groups (n=10) of albino rats were used. The prepared aqueous extract of B. aegyptiaca fruits was given orally (80 mg/kg body weight for 4 weeks) to normal control and streptozotocin (65 mg/kg BW, i. p.) -induced-diabetic rats. Administration of B. aegyptiaca fruits aqueous extract in diabetic rats significantly elevated the serum insulin (91%) and reduced serum glucose (54%), cholesterol (26%), triglycerides (16%) and LDL cholesterol (25%) compared to the diabetic control.  Produced hypoglycemia in treated diabetic rats simultaneously accompanied at least by significant improving (p<0.05) of pancreatic insulin and α-amylase; hepatic insulin receptor A, glucose transporters (GLUT-2 and GLUT-4), and adipocyte leptin gene expressions. In conclusion: The anti-diabetic effect of B. aegyptiaca fruits aqueous extract was achieved by increasing insulin level as well as stimulating endogenous insulin secretion and enhancing its action at the target tissues. So it covered at least most of the main therapeutic strategies of diabetes. More studies are needed for preparation of a standardized dose and dosage regimen of active constituents of this promising fruit that can play a significant role in the management of type 2 diabetes and related complications.

Key words: Balanites aegyptiaca; streptozotocin; α-amylase; insulin receptor A; GLUT-2; GLUT-4; leptin

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