In Africa, indigenous vegetables remain popular in rural areas where they are often consider to be more nutritive than exotic vegetables Telfiaria occidentalis commonly called fluted pumpkin, fluted gourd is tropical vine grown in west Africa as a leaf vegetable and for its edible seeds and is highly reputed in traditional medicine (Badifi et al., 1995). The common names for the plant include fluted gourd, fluted pumpkin and ugwu Telfairia occidentalis is a member of the curcubitaceae family and is indigenous to Southern Nigeria (Akorada, 1990). There is paucity of info on the phytochemical constituents of the leaf of 70, however it has been reported that the leaf contain tannins, flavoroids, alakaloid, saponins, steroid, anthraquinines (Eseyinet al., 2000; Oboli ,2006). The presence of long chain n-3-unsaturated fatty acid from the leaf has also been reported. Palmitolece acid is the predominant omega 9 fatty acid present in leaf (Tnuwaet al., 2006). The carbohydrate content of the leaf is 25% (Oyenuga, 1968; Akwaowoetal., 2000). The amino acid profile of Telfairaoccidentalus had also been showbn to be very rich and includes alanine, aspartate, leucine, glycine, glutamine, histidine, lysine, methionine, trypthophan, arginine, cysine, serine, threonine, phenylanalnine, isoleucine, valine and tyrosine (Trindall, 1968; Fasuyi, 2006).

Medicinal and nutritional values of Telfairaoccidentalis have also been reported. Considered an “oil seed” the fluted gourd is high in oil (30%). Shoots of Telafairaccidentalis contain high level of potassium and iron, while seeds are composed of 27% crude proteins and 53% fats (Aiyelaagbe&Kintomo, 2002). Its anxioloytic and sedatives properties (Akindele & Ajao, 2012).blood coagulation (Nubila et al., 2013), immunomodulatory (Egbaet al., 2013a; Egbaet al., 2013b). phytoextraction (Iyagba&Offor, 2013).testiculoprotective (Saaluet al., 2010, Akabnget al.,2012). ameliorayion of radiation-induced testicular injury (Adejuwon et al., 2014), cancer chemopreventive (Iweala, 2009), anti-oxidant and anti-microbal properties (Oboh et al., 2006; Iweala&Obidoa, 2009; Kayode et al., 2010), anti-anemic (Alada, 2000; Oboh, 2004; Dina et al., 2006) anti convulsant (Gbile, 1986).Anti-inflammatory (Oluwoleet al., 2003), purgative (Dina et al., 2001). Have also been reported. Most of the reports of the pharmacological activities of the plant are on the aqeouse, methanolic andethanolic extracts. Its blood glucose-lowering effects were reported in rats (Eseyin et al., 2000; Emudianughe and Aderibigbe, 2002; Nwozo, 2004; Salman et al., 2008; Eseyin et al., 2010; Salman et al., 2013; Eseyin et al., 2014) and mice (Aderibigbe et al., 1999).


The present study was designed to investigate the effects of methanolic extract of Telfairia occidentalis on plasma lactate levels and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity in male Wistar rats.



Lactate is one of the precursors for de novo synthesis of glucose in the liver which is a central mechanism to provide organism with glucose in fasting or starvation (Nordli et al., 1990; Cherrington & Banting, 1997;). Findings from the study, showed significant increases in lactate concentration in TO-treated groups.This is in line with the previous study of reported increase in lactate level by Anderson et al. (2013) that lactate elevation may be caused by increased production, decreased clearance, or a combination of both. Also peterson (2005) reported that excess lactate generated from anaerobic metabolism would utilize Cori cycle for the formation of new glucose through gluconeogenesis. The mechanism of lactate elevation could be that the lactate was not used to spare blood glucoses, therefore, it does not prevent further lowering of blood glucose or was used in the process of gluconeogenesis to lower blood glucose to normal.

In resting mammals, gluconeogenesis accounts for approximately 20% and oxidation approximately half lactate disposal(Stanley et al., 1986; Brooks et al., 1991). The several dosed effect which led to increased lactate formation after the two and four weeks duration might be due to increased insulin concentration that promotes glucose uptake and favors lactate production as documented by Richard et al.(1995). 

Lactate dehydrogenase is a very important enzyme and functions in the conversion of stored glycogens in form of pyruvate to lactate .However, this study showed that T.occidentalis significantly increased LDH activity in plasma. This is in concordance with increased LDH activity reported by Salman et al. (2013), who reported significant increases in male Wistar rats treated with 100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg of the extract after two weeks.


Further studies should be tailored towards determining the actual pathway of TO-induced gluconeogenesis 



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