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J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Oct;26(5):441-7. doi: 10.1089/jop.2010.0049.

Moringa oleifera prevents selenite-induced cataractogenesis in rat pups.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Kerala , Thiruvananthapuram, India.



The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effects of the flavonoid fraction of Moringa oleifera leaves (FMO) on selenite cataract in vivo.


Rat pups of Sprague-Dawley strain initially weighing 10–12 g on day 8 were used for the study and grouped as control (G I), selenite induced (G II), and FMO treated (G III). The rat pups in G II and G III received a single subcutaneous injection of sodium selenite (4 µg/g body weight) on day 10 and G III was administered with FMO (2.5 µg/g body weight) from day 8 to 15. Cataract was visualized from day 16. The development of cataract was assessed and rat lenses were analyzed for the activities of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase and catalase), generation of reactive oxygen species, reduced glutathione, protein oxidation, and lipid peroxidation. FMO was subjected to in vitro antioxidant assays (2,2-diphenyl-picrylhydrazyl and superoxide scavenging assays).


The total phenolic content of FMO was 4.4 mg of catechin equivalent/g dried plant material. The extract showed remarkable activity on 2,2-diphenyl-picrylhydrazyl (IC50 36 µg/mL) and in superoxide radical (IC50 33.81µg/mL) scavenging assays. FMO effectively prevented the morphological changes and oxidative damage in lens. FMO maintained the activities of antioxidant enzymes and sulfhydryl content and prevented reactive oxygen species generation and lipid peroxidation.


FMO was effective in preventing cataractogenesis in selenite model by enhancing the activities of antioxidant enzyme, reducing the intensity of lipid peroxidation, and inhibiting free radical generation.

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