Momordica charantia mitigates hepatic injury following adjuvant treatment with antiretroviral drugs in diabetic animal models

  • Ugochukwu OfforEmail author
  • Edwin C. S. Naidu
  • Oluwatosin O. Ogedengbe
  • Peter I. Aniekan
  • Onyemaechi O. Azu
Original Article


Momordica charantia (M. charantia) is a medicinal plant, used in traditional practice for treating diseases like hypertension and diabetes mellitus. This study investigated the possible hepato-protective effect of M. charantia following treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in diabetic rats. 48 adult male Sprague Dawley rats were divided into seven groups (A–G) of 7 animals per group and treated according to protocols. Diabetes was induced with streptozotocin (STZ) by intraperitoneal injection (45 mg/kg body weight). The animals were euthanized on the 10th week with liver removed for examination and blood obtained via cardiac puncture and centrifuged to collect the sera. Blood glucose levels (BGL) were consistently and significantly raised (p < 0.05) in all groups not receiving the adjuvant M. charantia. Treatment with M. charantia reverses the increase in BGL to near normal. Markers of liver injury assayed showed significant increase (p < 0.05) in AST, ALP and ALT levels in groups not receiving M. charantia. Adjuvant HAART and M. charantia caused significant declines in the liver enzymes (p < 0.05). Serum GGT was not markedly altered. Treatment with M. charantia significantly restored liver enzymes elevations to near normal comparable to control. Histopathological observations ranged from severe hepatocellular distortions, necrosis and massive fibrosis following treatment of HAART in diabetic groups not receiving M. charantia. Treatment with M. charantia did not show any sign of hepatotoxicity as judged from the histological and biochemical observations.


Highly active antiretroviral therapy Hepatotoxicity Liver Diabetes mellitus Momordica charantia Sprague-dawley rats 



The study received operational funds from the College of Health Science; University of KwaZulu-Natal awarded to the first author and is also partly supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa awarded to Prof OO Azu (Unique Grant No. 99053). We thank Drs Sanil Singh and Linda Bester of Biomedical Research Unit, University of KwaZulu-Natal for their technical support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Toxicology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ugochukwu Offor
    • 1
    Email author
  • Edwin C. S. Naidu
    • 1
  • Oluwatosin O. Ogedengbe
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter I. Aniekan
    • 1
    • 3
  • Onyemaechi O. Azu
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Discipline of Clinical Anatomy, School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of MedicineUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine and Health SciencesAfe Babalola UniversityAdo EkitiNigeria
  3. 3.Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical SciencesUniversity of Uyo-NigeriaUyoNigeria
  4. 4.Department of Anatomy, School of MedicineUniversity of NamibiaWindhoekNamibia

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