Polyherbal extract improves glycometabolic control in alloxan-induced diabetic rats via down-regulating the MAPK/JNK pathway, modulating Nrf-2/Keap-1 expression, and stimulating insulin signaling

Document Type : Original Article


1 Institute of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad-38040, Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan

2 Department of Pharmacy, Riphah International University, Faisalabad-38000, Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan

3 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lahore-54590, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan


Objective(s): This study focused on the evaluation of antioxidant and antidiabetic activities of polyherbal extract (PHE), containing Cassia absus (L.), Gymnema sylvestre (R. Br.), Nigella sativa (L.), and Piper nigrum (L.), in alloxan-induced diabetes model.
Materials and Methods: In vitro, HPLC characterization, DPPH scavenging assay, and α-amylase inhibition test were conducted. In vivo, acute oral toxicity of PHE was assessed. Alloxan-induced diabetic Wistar rats (n=6) were orally treated with PHE (200, 400, and 600 mg/kg/day) and glibenclamide (GLB; 10 mg/kg/day) for six consecutive weeks. Then, biochemical biomarkers, oxidative stress parameters, histopathological examination, and mRNA expression levels (RT-qPCR) were determined.
Results: The presence of polyphenols in PHE was confirmed in correlation to marked DPPH scavenging (IC50: 1.60 mg/ml) and α-amylase inhibition (IC50: 0.82 mg/ml). PHE demonstrated no toxicity in rats up to a dose of 2000 mg/kg. In diabetic rats, PHE dose-dependently ameliorated the serum levels of glucose, insulin, glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), leptin, and glucokinase (GCK). Also, PHE substantially alleviated serum inflammatory markers (TNF-α and CRP) and oxidative stress indicators (MDA, SOD, and CAT) in pancreatic tissues. PHE, particularly at 600 mg/kg, attenuated cellular oxidative stress via modulating the mRNA expression levels of genes regulating MAPK/JNK (Mapk-8, Traf-4, and Traf-6) and Nrf-2/Keap-1 pathways and promoted insulin signaling through up-regulating insulin signaling cascade (Pdx-1, Ins-1, and Ins-2), as compared to GLB. Furthermore, histopathological findings supported the aforementioned results.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that polyherbal extract has promising antioxidant and antidiabetic activities by modulating the MAPK/JNK, Nrf-2/Keap-1, and insulin signaling pathways.


Main Subjects

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