Evaluation of the Cardiac Effects of a Water-Soluble Lectin (Wsmol) from Moringa Oleifera Seeds
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Abstract Background Moringa oleifera seeds, which are used for water clarification, contain a lectin named WSMoL which has shown in vitro antibacterial and immunomodulatory activity. Due to their nutritional value and therapeutic potential, the leaves and seeds of this tree are eaten in some communities. Some plant lectins are non-toxic to mammals, but others have been reported to be harmful when ingested or administered by other means. Objective As one of the steps needed to define the safety of WSMoL, we evaluated possible cardiotoxic effects of this purified protein. Methods: WSMoL was administered for 21 consecutive days to mice by gavage. Electrophysiological, mechanical, and metabolic cardiac functions were investigated by in vivo and ex vivo electrocardiographic recordings, nuclear magnetic resonance, and high-resolution respirometry. Results The treatment with WSMoL did not induce changes in blood glucose levels or body weight in comparison with control group. Moreover, the heart weight/body weight and heart weight/tibia length ratios were similar in both groups. Lectin ingestion also did not modify glucose tolerance or insulin resistance. No alterations were observed in electrocardiographic parameters or cardiac action potential duration. The heart of mice from the control and WSMoL groups showed preserved left ventricular function. Furthermore, WSMoL did not induce changes in mitochondrial function (in all cases, p > 0.05). Conclusions The administration of WSMoL demonstrated a cardiac safety profile. These results contribute to the safety evaluation of using M. oleifera seeds to treat water, since this lectin is present in the preparation employed by some populations to this end. (Arq Bras Cardiol. 2020; [online].ahead print, PP.0-0)