*Ujong Peter Ujong


The morbidity and mortality of diabetic nephropathy (DN) have been rising rapidly in the worldwide population. Telfairia occidentalis (TO) is a popular plant and food item reported to have high content of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and hypoglycemic properties. The present study investigated the effects of T. occidentalis against streptozotocin-induced diabetic nephropathy in Wistar rats. Thirty five rats were randomly assigned into five groups of Seven (7) rats each. The control group received distilled water for 28 days, the streptozotocin (STZ), TO1, TO2, and MET groups received 10% fructose for 14 days prior to single intraperitoneal injection of 40mg/kg body weight STZ; after which they were treated with 0.5ml distilled water, 200mg/kg body weight TO, 300mg/kg body weight TO, and 300mg/kg body weight MET respectively. Treatment with T. occidentalis (200mg/kg and 300mg/kg) significantly (p<0.05) improved the activities of the antioxidant enzymes namely SOD, CAT and GPx activities as well as GSH and Vitamin C levels with a concomitant decrease in MDA level in the kidney of diabetic nephropathy rats. In the same vein, biomarkers of inflammation, namely: TNF-α, IL-1β, NO and iNOS levels along with MPO and COX-2 activities were markedly reduced in the kidney of diabetic nephropathy rats when treated with T. occidentalis (200mg/kg and 300mg/kg). Also, the activity of caspase-3 was markedly reduced in the kidney of diabetic nephropathy rats when treated with T. occidentalis (200mg/kg and 300mg/kg). Telfairia occidentalis attenuated oxidative stress and inflammation as well as caspase-3 in the kidney of streptozotocin-induced diabetic nephropathy in rats.

Keywords: Antioxidant enzymes, Caspase-3, Diabetic nephropathy, Inflammation, Telfairia occidentalis.

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