1. Laboratory of Experimental Embryology, Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Mansoura University, Egypt & * El-Kuwait;
2. National Research Center, Department Immunology, AL-Dokki, Egypt;
3. Urology & Nephrology Center, Research Center, Mansoura University, Egypt;
4. The Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Rensselaer, NY, USA.
Phytotherapy is frequently considered to be less toxic and free from side effects than synthetic drugs. Hence, the present study was designed to investigate the protective use of crude water extract of Morus alba leaves on ocular functions including cataractogenesis, biochemical diabetic and hypercholesterolemic markers, retinal neurotransmitters and retinopathy of rat pups maternally subjected to either diabetes and/or hypercholesterolemia. Application of crude water extract of Morus alba resulted in amelioration of the alterations of maternal serum glucose, LDL, HDL, total cholesterol and creatine phosphokinase activity as well as retinal neurotransmitters including acetylcholine (ACE), adrenaline (AD), nor-adrenaline (NAD), serotonin (5-HT), histamine (HS), dopamine (DA) and gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). The retina of pups of either diabetic and/or hypercholesterolemia mothers exhibited massive alterations of retinal neurotransmitters. The alterations of retinal neurotransmitters were correlated with the observed pathological alterations of retinal pigmented epithelium, photoreceptor inner segment and ganglion cells and increased incidence of DNA fragmentation and apoptosis cell death. However, protection with Morus alba extract led to amelioration of the pathological alterations of retinal neurons and estimated neurotransmitters. Furthermore, a striking incidence of cataract was detected in pups of either diabetic and/or hypercholesterolemic mothers. Highest cataractogenesis was observed in pups of combined -treated groups. Our data indicate that experimental maternal diabetes alone or in combination with hypercholesterolemia led to alteration in the ocular structures of their pups, with an increasing incidence of cataract and retinopathy, and the effects of the extract might be attributed to the hypoglycaemic, antihypercholesterolemic and anti-oxidative potential of flavonoids, the major components of the plant extract.
Keywords: Hypercholesterolemia, Diabetes, Morus Alba L, pups, cataract, retina neurotransmitters, TEM.