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Background: Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) are common pregnancy complications, with a cumulative incidence of 7%. Pre-eclampsia (PE) is the most common clinical type of HDP and one of the five top leading causes of maternal mortality worldwide. There is imbalance between lipid peroxides and antioxidant system in PE. Established PE is associated with increased concentrations of oxidative stress markers including lipid peroxidation products, and a reduction in antioxidant concentrations.
Methods: A case control experimental method was employed on Wistar rats with induced pre-eclampsia using nitric oxide-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). Lipid peroxide content was estimated according to the method of Ohkawa et al. 1979. Total antioxidant capacity was assayed using colorimetric azinobis 2, 2′3-ethyl-benzothiazoline-6-sulfonate (ABTS) radical cathion decolorization assay.
Results: Lipid peroxides of untreated PE rat models were significantly (p<0.01) higher (0.57±0.08 nmol of malondyaldehide (MDA) per gram tissue weight) compared to normal pregnant controls (0.11±0.03 nmol). PE rat models that received aqueous leaf extracts of Thymus schimperi (ALETS) had (0.09±0.01, 0.07±0.002 and 0.02±0.002 nmol) (p<0.05) while, those PE rat models that received aqueous leaf extracts of Moringa stenopetala (ALEMS) had (0.36±0.08, 0.20±0.003 and 0.13±0.02 nmol) (p<0.05) with daily doses of 250 mg/kg, 500 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg respectively. On the other hand, untreated PE rat models had significantly (p<0.01) lower levels of serum total anti-oxidants (24.5±0.9 μg/ml of ascorbic acid equivalent) compared to normal pregnant controls (28.1±0.4 μg/ml). ALETS or ALEMS treated PE rat models had significantly (p<0.01) higher levels of serum total anti-oxidants in a dose dependent manner compared to untreated PE controls; (27.6±0.3, 29.5±0.3, 31.2±0.4 μg/ml and 29.2±0.3, 29.7±0.3, 30.6±0.4 μg/ml) with daily doses of 250 mg/kg, 500 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg respectively. ALETS treated PE rat models had significantly (p<0.05) reduced total lipid peroxides compared to ALEMS treated counterparts.
Conclusion: ALETS and ALEMS might have significant therapeutic effects against PE syndrome through reducing lipid peroxides and increasing total anti-oxidants.
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