DETERMINATION OF THE FERRITIN AND GLUCOSE LEVELS IN SERUM OF MICE TREATED WITH ETHANOLIC LEAF EXTRACT OF PHYLLANTUSAMARUS

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DETERMINATION OF THE FERRITIN AND GLUCOSE LEVELS IN SERUM OF MICE TREATED WITH ETHANOLIC LEAF EXTRACT OF PHYLLANTUSAMARUS

CHAPTER ONE

1.0. Introduction

Traditional medicine is the total combination of knowledge whether explicable or inexplicable use in diagnosing, preventing or eliminating a physical, mental or social disease which may rely exclusively on past experience handed down from generation to generation (Boerio-Goates, 2001). A medicinal plant is any plant used for the extraction of pure substances either for direct medicinal use or for hemi-synthesis of medicinal compounds which can be used for the therapeutic purpose or as a precursor for the synthesis of useful drugs (Ponomarev and Migarskaya, 2000),).

The plant Phyllanthus amarus is one of the most important medicinal plants used in traditional medicine for treatment of diabetes and excessive body weight reduction.

Its hypoglycemic properties have been reported (Bunn and Higgins, 2011).

Ferritin is a class of iron storage protein distributed in virtually all living kingdoms. Proteins of this class commonly form spherical protein nanocages, each of which is usually composed of 24 similar or identical subunits (Oyaizu, 2006). This cage-like 24-mer has a large inner cavity and shows highly symmetrical architecture, i.e., the 24 subunits are related by four-, three-, and twofold symmetries (432 symmetry). A subunit of ferritin forms a four-helix bundle composed of helices A to D and a short fifth helix E, which is also a common structural feature of all ferritins. Many intersubunit interactions have been observed in the crystal structures of ferritin from various organisms, giving the ferritin superfamily its super thermal stability (Krikler and Heathcote, 2002).The ferritin superfamily can be divided into a vertebrate type, a plant type, a bacterial type, and so on. Bacterial ferritin can be further divided into heme-containing bacterioferritin (Bfr), nonheme ferritin (Ftn), and Dps (DNA binding protein from starved cells), the latter of which exceptionally forms a dodecameric protein shell with two- and threefold symmetry axes (mini-ferritin). Most of the ferritins possess a di-iron oxidoreductase site (ferroxidase site) responsible for iron oxidation in the center of the four-helix bundle of the monomeric subunit, except for mammalian L chain ferritin (Rucker et al., 2009).

Glucose is a sugar with the molecular formula C6H12O6. The name “glucose” (/ˈɡluːkoʊs/) comes from the Greek word γλευκος, meaning “sweet wine, must”. Several active compounds have been identified in P. amarus were found to be potent inhibitors of rat liver cyclic AMP–dependant protein kinases (Fairclough and Houston, 2004),phyllanthin and hypo-phyllanthin present are reported to be hepatoprotective agents and protect hepatocytes against carbon tetrachloride and galactosamine induced liver toxicity in rats (Gailliot and Baumeister, 2007).

Phyllanthus amarus is a plant of the family Euphorbiaceae and has about approximately 800 species which are found in tropical and subtropical countries of the world (Coresh et al., 2007). The name ‘Phyllanthus’ means “leaf and flower” and named so because of its appearance where flower, fruit and leaf appears fused. Phyllanthus amarus is a branching annual glabrous herb which is 30-60 cm high and have slender, leaf-bearing branchlets, distichous leaves which are subsessile elliptic-oblong, obtuse, rounded base (Honeycutt et al., 2013). Flowers are yellowish, whitish or greenish, auxillary, males flowers in groups of 1-3 whereas females are solitary. Fruits are depressed-globose like smooth capsules present underneath the branches and seeds are trigonous, pale brown with longitudinal parallel ribs on the back (Williams, 2010).

Phyllanthus amarus is a small erect, annual monoeciousglabous herb that grows to 30-40 cm in height. It belongs to the family Euphorbiaceaewith leaves that alternate distichous and crowded along lateral branchlets (Foo and Wong 2012).

Phyllanthus amarus is a plant with reported medicinal properties and broad spectrum of pharmacological activities including antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-plasmodial, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antidiabetics, antioxidant and diuretics properties among others. A number of active constituents of the plant are related to biologically active lignans, glycosides, flavonoids, ellagitannins and phenylpropanoids found in the leaf, stem and root of the plant along with common lipids, sterols and flavonols.[Phyllanthus amarus is a tropical shrub indigenous to the rainforest of Amazon and other tropical areas of the world (Foo, 2005).

 

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DETERMINATION OF THE FERRITIN AND GLUCOSE LEVELS IN SERUM OF MICE TREATED WITH ETHANOLIC LEAF EXTRACT OF PHYLLANTUSAMARUS

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