The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 246, Issue 1, pp 47–55 | Cite as

Therapeutic Potential of Some Plant Extracts Used in Turkish Traditional Medicine on Streptozocin-Induced Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus in Rats

  • Halil Ozkol
  • Yasin Tuluce
  • Nihat Dilsiz
  • İsmail Koyuncu


Diabetes mellitus (DM) is known to impair many physiological functions. Some reports claim that medicinal plants can reduce these alterations caused by DM. The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic potential of aqueous-methanol extracts of Urtica dioica, Thymus vulgaris (TV), Myrtus communis (MC), Scolymus hispanicus (SH) and Cinnamomun zeylanicum (CZ) on streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 1 DM in rats. Diabetes was induced via a single i.p. injection of STZ (65 mg/kg body weight). After 1 week to allow for development of diabetes, each plant extract was administered to diabetic rats separately at a dose of 100 mg/kg body weight daily for 28 days. The results showed that only SH extract significantly (P < 0.05) amended fasting blood glucose level. The lipid profile was ameliorated especially by supplementations of TV, MC and CZ extracts. Almost all plant extract treatments markedly (P < 0.05) increased reduced glutathione content and decreased lipid peroxidation levels of erythrocyte, plasma, retina and lens tissues. They also significantly (P < 0.05) amended erythrocyte catalase activity, levels of marker serum enzymes (except amylase), urea and blood urea nitrogen when compared to diabetic rats treated with nothing. Furthermore, none of the plant extracts counteracted body weight loss of diabetic rats. Our data revealed that the aforementioned plant extracts have remarkable potential to counteract DM-caused alterations, probably through their antioxidant and free radical-defusing effects.


Diabetes mellitus Plant extract Retina Lens Antioxidant Free radical 



We thank Prof. Dr. İsmail Meral for reviewing the manuscript.


  1. Aebi H (1974) Catalase. In: Bergmeyer HU (ed) Methods of enzymatic analysis. Academic Press, New York, pp 673–677CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Akkuş I (1995) Free radicals and their pathophysiological effects. Mimoza Publications, KonyaGoogle Scholar
  3. Aldrich JE (2003) Clinical enzymology. In: Anderson SC, Cockayne S (eds) Clinical chemistry: concept and applications. McGraw-Hill, New York, pp 261–284Google Scholar
  4. Al-Hindawi MK, Al-Deen IH, Nabi MH, Ismail MA (1989) Anti-inflammatory activity of some Iraqi plants using intact rats. J Ethnopharmacol 26:163–168PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Al-Shamaony L, Al-Khazraji SM, Twaij HA (1994) Hypoglycaemic effect of Artemisia herba alba II. Effect of a valuable extract on some blood parameters in diabetic animals. J Ethnopharmacol 43:167–171PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Armstrong D, Al-Awadi F (1991) Lipid peroxidation and retinopathy in streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Free Radic Biol Med 11:433–436PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Baranauskiene R, Venskutonis PR, Viskelis P, Dambrauskiene E (2003) Influence of nitrogen fertilizers on the yield and composition of thyme (Thymus vulgaris). J Agric Food Chem 51:7751–7758PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Beutler E (1984) Red cell metabolism, a manual of biochemical methods, 3rd edn. Grune and Startton, New York, pp 105–106Google Scholar
  9. Bhandari U, Jain N, Pillai KK (2007) Further studies on antioxidant potential and protection of pancreatic beta-cells by Embelia ribes in experimental diabetes. Exp Diabetes Res 15803:1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bisset NG (1994) Herbal drugs and phytopharmaceuticals. Medpharm, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  11. Bnouham M, Merhfour FZ, Ziyyat A, Mekhfi H, Aziz M, Legssyer A (2003) Antihyperglycemic activity of the aqueous extract of Urtica dioica. Fitoterapia 74:677–681PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bopanna KN, Kannan J, Gadgil S, Balaraman ER, Rathore SP (1997) Antidiabetic and antihyperglycemic effects of neem seed kernel powder on alloxan diabetic rabbits. Indian J Pharmacol 29:162–167Google Scholar
  13. Celik I, Tuluce Y (2007) Elevation protective role of Camellia sinensis and Urtica dioica infusion against trichloroacetic acid-exposed in rats. Phytother Res 21:1039–1044PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chatterjee MN, Shinde R (2002) Textbook of medical biochemistry. Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  15. Cho SY, Park JY, Park EM, Choi MS, Lee MK, Jeon SM, Jang MK, Kim MJ, Park YB (2002) Alternation of hepatic antioxidant enzyme activities and lipid profile in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats by supplementation of dandelion water extract. Clin Chim Acta 317:109–117PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Christopher CL, Mathuram LN, Genitta G, Cyrus I, Sundar SJ (2003) Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids inhibit the accumulation of PAS-positive material in the myocardium of STZ-diabetic Wistar rats. Int J Cardiol 88:183–190PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Coleman MD (2001) Monitoring diabetic antioxidant status: a role for in vitro methaemoglobin formation. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol 10:207–213PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Danda RS, Habiba NM, Rincon-Choles H, Bhandari BK, Barnes JL, Abboud HE, Pergola PE (2005) Kidney involvement in a nongenetic rat model of type 2 diabetes. Kidney Int 68:2562–2571PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. De Duve C, Baudhhuin P (1996) Peroxisomes (microbodies and related particles). Physiol Rev 46:323–341Google Scholar
  20. Elfellah MS, Akhter MH, Khan MT (1984) Anti-hyperglycaemic effect of an extract of Myrtus communis in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in mice. J Ethnopharmacol 11:275–281PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. El-Kashef HA, Salem HA, Said SA, El-Mazar MM (1996) Effect of praziquantel on serum glucose and insulin levels in normal and hyperglycemic rats. Arzneim-Forsch 46:433–435Google Scholar
  22. Enaida H, Sakamoto T, Hisatomi T, Goto Y, Ishibashi T (2002) Morphological and functional damage of the retina caused by intravitreous indocyanine green in rat eyes. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 240:209–213PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gülçin I, Küfrevioglu OI, Oktay M, Büyükokuroglu ME (2004) Antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiulcer and analgesic activities of nettle (Urtica dioica L.). J Ethnopharmacol 90:205–215PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hamdy NM, Taha RA (2009) Effects of Nigella sativa oil and thymoquinone on oxidative stress and neuropathy in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Pharmacology 84:127–134PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hartnett EM, Stratton RD, Browne RW, Rosner BA, Lanham RJ, Armstrong D (2000) Serum markers of oxidative stress and severity of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes Care 23:234–240PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. He CY, Li WD, Guo SX, Lin SQ, Lin ZB (2006) Effect of polysaccharides from Ganoderma lucidum on streptozotocin-induced diabetic nephropathy in mice. J Asian Nat Prod Res 8:705–711PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hegde KR, Henein MG, Varma SD (2003) Establishment of mouse as an animal model for study of diabetic cataracts: biochemical studies. Diabetes Obes Metab 5:113–119PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hegyi P, Takács T, Tiszlavicz L, Czako L, Lonovics J (2000) Recovery of exocrine pancreas six months following pancreatitis induction with l-arginine in STZ-diabetic rats. J Physiol 94:51–55Google Scholar
  29. Hemmings SJ, Pekush RD (1994) The impact of type I diabetes on rat liver γ-glutamyl transpeptidase. Mol Cell Biochem 139:131–140PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Howard BV, Savage PJ, Bennion LJ, Bennett PH (1978) Lipoprotein composition in diabetes mellitus. Atherosclerosis 30:153–162PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jin L, Xue HY, Jin LJ, Li SY, Xu YP (2008) Antioxidant and pancreas-protective effect of aucubin on rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. Eur J Pharmacol 582:162–167PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kakkar R, Mantha SV, Radhi J, Prasad K, Kalra J (1998) Increased oxidative stress in rat liver and pancreas during progression of streptozotocin-induced diabetes. J Clin Sci 94:623–632Google Scholar
  33. Kamath JV, Rana AC, Chowdhury AR (2003) Pro-healing effect of Cinnamomum zeylanicum bark. Phytother Res 17:970–972PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kataya HAH, Hamza AA (2008) Red cabbage (Brassica oleracea) ameliorates diabetic nephropathy in rats. Evid Based Complement Altern Med 5:281–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kim HK, Kim MJ, Shin DH (2006) Improvement of lipid profile by amaranth (Amaranthus esculantus) supplementation in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Ann Nutr Metab 50:277–281PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kırımer N, Tunalıer Z, Başer KHC, Cingi İ (1997) Antispasmodic and spasmogenic effects of Scolymus hispanicus and taraxasteryl acetate on isolated ileum preparations. Planta Med 63:556–558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lee AYW, Chung SSM (1999) Contributions of polyol pathway to oxidative stress in diabetic cataract. FASEB J 13:23–30PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Liu WH, Hei ZQ, Nie H, Tang FT, Huang HQ, Li XJ, Deng YH, Chen SR, Guo FF, Huang WG, Chen FY, Liu PQ (2008) Berberine ameliorates renal injury in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats by suppression of both oxidative stress and aldose reductase. Chin Med J (Engl) 121:706–712Google Scholar
  39. Lu SC, Kuhlenkamp J, Wu H, Sun WM, Stone L, Kaplowitz N (1997) Progressive defect in biliary GSH secretion in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Am J Physiol 272:374–382Google Scholar
  40. Luo Q, Cai Y, Yan J, Sun M, Corke H (2004) Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects and antioxidant activity of fruit extracts from Lycium barbarum. Life Sci 76:137–149PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Mannervik B, Guthenberg C (1981) Glutathione S-transferase (human placenta). Methods Enzymol 77:231–235PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mayne PD (1996) Clinical chemistry in diagnosis and treatment. Edward Arnold, London, pp 224–241Google Scholar
  43. Mishra A, Bhatti R, Singh A, Singh Ishar MP (2010) Ameliorative effect of the cinnamon oil from Cinnamomum zeylanicum upon early stage diabetic nephropathy. Planta Med 76:412–417PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Murray RK, Granner DK, Mayes PA, Rodwell VW (1993) Catabolism of proteins and of amino acid nitrogen. In: Harper’s biochemistry, 23rd edn. Prentice Hall, London, pp 293–302Google Scholar
  45. Murugan P, Pari L (2006) Effect of tetrahydrocurcumin on lipid peroxidation and lipids in streptozotocin-nicotinamide-induced diabetic rats. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 99:122–127PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Muruganandan S, Gupta S, Kataria M, Lal J, Gupta PK (2002) Mangiferin protects the streptozotocin-induced oxidative damage to cardiac and renal tissues in rats. Toxicology 176:165–173PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ozkol H, Tuluce Y, Koyuncu I (2011) Some medicinal plants counteract alterations of neuroendocrine stress response system, oxidative and nitrosative stress caused by repeated restraint in rats. J Med Plant Res 5:4360–4368Google Scholar
  48. Ozkol H, Tuluce Y, Koyuncu I (2012a) Subacute effect of cigarette smoke exposure in rats: protection by pot marigold (Calendula officinalis L.) extract. Toxicol Ind Health 28:3–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ozkol H, Musa D, Tuluce Y, Koyuncu I (2012b) Ameliorative influence of Urtica dioica L. against cisplatin-induced toxicity in mice bearing Ehrlich ascites carcinoma. Drug Chem Toxicol 5:251–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Parveen K, Khan MR, Mujeeb M, Siddiqui WA (2010) Protective effects of pycnogenol on hyperglycemia-induced oxidative damage in the liver of type 2 diabetic rats. Chem Biol Interact 186:219–227PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rai PK, Mehta S, Watal G (2010) Hypolipidaemic and hepatoprotective effects of Psidium guajava raw fruit peel in experimental diabetes. Indian J Med Res 131:820–824PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Reaven GM (1998) Role of insulin in human diseases. Diabetes 37:1597–1607Google Scholar
  53. Rodrigues GR, Di Naso FC, Porawski M, Marcolin E, Kretzmann NA, Ferraz Ade B, Richter MF, Marroni CA, Marroni NP (2012) Treatment with aqueous extract from Croton cajucara Benth reduces hepatic oxidative stress in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. J Biomed Biotechnol 2012:902351PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Salahuddin M, Jalalpure SS (2010) Antidiabetic activity of aqueous fruit extract of Cucumis trigonus Roxb. in streptozotocin-induced-diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol 127:565–567PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Sasaki K, Wada K, Tanaka Y, Yoshimura T, Matuoka K, Anno T (2005) Thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) leaves and its constituents increase the activities of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes in mouse liver. J Med Food 8:184–189PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sepici A, Gurbuz I, Cevik C, Yesilada E (2004) Hypoglycaemic effects of myrtle oil in normal and alloxan-diabetic rabbits. J Ethnopharmacol 93:311–318PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Shah AH, Al-Shareef AH, Ageel AM, Qureshi S (1998) Toxicity studies in mice of common spices, Cinnamomum zeylanicum bark and Piper longum fruits. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 52:231–239PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Siman CM, Eriksson UJ (1997) Vitamin E decreases the occurrence of malformations in the offspring of diabetic rats. Diabetes 46:1054–1061PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Singh SK, Rai PK, Jaiswal D, Watal G (2008) Evidence-based critical evaluation of glycemic potential of Cynodon dactylon. Evid Based Complement Altern Med 5:415–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Stephens JW, Khanolkar MP, Bain SC (2009) The biological relevance and measurement of plasma markers of oxidative stress in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Atherosclerosis 202:321–329PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Tuluce Y, Ozkol H, Koyuncu I, Ine H (2011) Gastroprotective effect of small centaury (Centaurium erythraea L) on aspirin-induced gastric damage in rats. Toxicol Ind Health 27:760–768PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Tuluce Y, Ozkol H, Koyuncu I (2012) Photoprotective effect of flax seed oil (Linum usitatissimum L.) against ultraviolet C-induced apoptosis and oxidative stress in rats. Toxicol Ind Health 28:99–107PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Valavanidis A, Vlahogianni T, Dassenakis M, Scoullos M (2006) Molecular biomarkers of oxidative stress in aquatic organisms in relation to toxic environmental pollutants. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 64:178–189PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Vijayakumar M, Govindarajan R, Rao GMM, Rao CV, Shirwaikar A, Mehrotra S et al (2006) Action of Hygrohila auriculata against streptozotocin-induced oxidative stress. J Ethnopharmacol 104:356–361PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Watkins JB III, Sherman SE (1992) Long-term diabetes alters the hepatobiliary clearance of acetaminophen, bilirubin and digoxin. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 260:1337–1343PubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. Wohaieb SA, Godin DV (1987) Alterations in free radical tissue-defense mechanisms in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rat: effects of insulin treatment. Diabetes 36:1014–1018PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Yoshino G, Hirano T, Kazumi T (1996) Dyslipidemia in diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 33:1–14PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Zhang XF, Tan BK (2000) Antihyperglycaemic and antioxidant properties of Andrographis paniculata in normal and diabetic rats. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 27:358–363PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Halil Ozkol
    • 1
  • Yasin Tuluce
    • 1
  • Nihat Dilsiz
    • 2
  • İsmail Koyuncu
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of MedicineYuzuncu Yil UniversityVanTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of Science & ArtHarran UniversityS. UrfaTurkey

Personalised recommendations