Research article

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine

, 12:151

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Evaluation of the effects of 80% methanolic leaf extract of Caylusea abyssinica (fresen.) fisch. & Mey. on glucose handling in normal, glucose loaded and diabetic rodents

  • Wondmagegn TamiruAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy, Addis Ababa University
  • , Ephrem EngidaworkAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy, Addis Ababa University Email author 
  • , Kaleab AsresAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Addis Ababa University



The leaves of Caylusea abyssinica (fresen.) Fisch. & Mey. (Resedaceae), a plant widely distributed in East African countries, have been used for management of diabetes mellitus in Ethiopian folklore medicine. However, its use has not been scientifically validated. The present study was undertaken to investigate antidiabetic effects of the hydroalcoholic leaf extract of C. abyssinica extract in rodents.

Materials and method

Male Animals were randomly divided into five groups for each diabetic, normoglycemic and oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) studies. Group 1 served as controls and administered 2% Tween-80 in distilled water, (TW80); Group 2 received 5 mg/kg glibenclamide (GL5); Groups 3, 4 and 5 were given 100 (CA100), 200 (CA200) and 300 (CA300) mg/kg, respectively, of the hydroalcoholic extract of C. abyssinica. Blood samples were then collected at different time points to determine blood glucose levels (BGL). Data were analyzed using one way ANOVA followed by Dunnet’s post hoc test and p < 0.05was considered as statistically significant.


In normal mice, CA200 and GL5 induced hypoglycemia starting from the 2nd h but the hypoglycemic effect of CA300 was delayed and appeared at the 4th h (p < 0.05 in all cases). In diabetic mice, BGL was significantly reduced by CA100 (p < 0.05) and CA300 (p < 0.01) starting from the 3rd h, whereas CA200 (p < 0.001) and GL5 (p < 0.05) attained this effect as early as the 2nd h. In OGTT, TW80 (p < 0.01) and CA100 (p < 0.01) brought down BGL significantly at 120 min, while CA200 (p < 0.001) and GL5 (p < 0.001) achieved this effect at 60 min indicating the oral glucose load improving activity of the extract. By contrast, CA300 was observed to have no effect on OGTT. Acute toxicity study revealed the safety of the extract even at a dose of 2000 mg/kg. Preliminary phytochemical study demonstrated the presence of various secondary metabolites, including, among others, saponins, flavonoids and alkaloids.


The results indicate that C. abyssinica is endowed with antidiabetic and oral glucose tolerance improving actions, particularly at the dose of 200 mg/kg in experimental animals. These activities of the plant extract may be related to the presence of secondary metabolites implicated in antidiabetic activities of plant extracts via different hepatic and extra-hepatic mechanisms. These results thus support the traditional use of the leaf extract for the management of diabetes mellitus.


Caylusea abyssinica Diabetes Hypoglycemic effect