Background: The current study tested the hypothesis that Ficus asperifolia from West Africa could be used as an anti-diabetic plant through the antioxidation and cytoprotection mechanism using a diabetic murine model. Methods: An unbiased metabolomics approach applied include: vitamins, mineral contents, ferric reducing-antioxidant power (FRAP), and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) were analyzed quantitatively from organic solvent extracts of F. asperifolia. The biochemical experiments demonstrated that a substantial amount of vitamin A, C, E, potassium, magnesium, and specific antioxidants exist in the extract. The diabetic rats induced by streptozotocin were treated with the plant extracts for 4 weeks and the animals were euthanized for biomolecular analysis. To determine the antiapoptotic, antioxidative, and cytoprotective effects of plant extracts, diabetic biomarkers including liver enzymes, kidney markers, electrolytes, and lipid peroxidation were analyzed quantitatively in the serum. Results: Streptozotocin administration caused a significant increase in liver enzyme activities (p? 0.05), including aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), as well as non-enzyme markers including malondialdehyde and total bilirubin. However, a significant decrease in serum albumin was observed in diabetic rats. Urea and creatinine were elevated significantly while the kidney electrolytes including Na+, K+, and Cl- were decreased when diabetic animals were treated with the extracts. The administration of the F. asperifolia leaf extracts to diabetic rats showed a significant reduction in lipid peroxidation dose-dependently compared to the disease control. Conclusions: The current study demonstrated that the F. asperifolia leaf extracts possess the medicinal potential to treat diabetic kidneys and liver based on their antiapoptotic, cytoprotective, and antioxidative molecules.
Keywords: Antioxidant, Diabetes mellitus, Ficus asperifolia, Streptozotocin, Ethanol extract, Rats, Medicinal plant