Clinical and Experimental Medicine

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 185–195 | Cite as

The antioxidant effect of the Malaysian Gelam honey on pancreatic hamster cells cultured under hyperglycemic conditions

  • Kalaivani BatumalaieEmail author
  • Rajes Qvist
  • Kamaruddin Mohd Yusof
  • Ikram Shah Ismail
  • Shamala Devi Sekaran
Original Article


Type 2 diabetes consists of progressive hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and pancreatic β-cell failure which could result from glucose toxicity, inflammatory cytokines, and oxidative stress. In the present study, we investigate the effect of pretreatment with Gelam honey (Melaleuca spp.) and the individual flavonoid components chrysin, luteolin, and quercetin, on the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), cell viability, lipid peroxidation, and insulin content in hamster pancreatic cells (HIT-T15 cells), cultured under normal and hyperglycemic conditions. Phenolic extracts from a local Malaysian species of Gelam honey (Melaleuca spp.) were prepared using the standard extraction methods. HIT-T15 cells were cultured in 5 % CO2 and then preincubated with Gelam honey extracts (20, 40, 60, and 80 μg/ml) as well as some of its flavonoid components chrysin, luteolin, and quercetin (20, 40, 60, and 80 μM), prior to stimulation by 20 and 50 mM of glucose. The antioxidative effects were measured in these cultured cells at different concentrations and time point by DCFH-DA assay. Pretreatment of cells with Gelam honey extract or the flavonoid components prior to culturing in 20 or 50 mM glucose showed a significant decrease in the production of ROS, glucose-induced lipid peroxidation, and a significant increase in insulin content and the viability of cells cultured under hyperglycemic condition. Our results show the in vitro antioxidative property of the Gelam honey and the flavonoids on the β-cells from hamsters and its cytoprotective effect against hyperglycemia.


Type 2 diabetes Oxidative stress Antioxidant Flavonoids Gelam honey 



This work was supported in part by grants (No. RG252/10HTM) from the University of Malaya. We thank Francis Kanyan (Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, UM) for the technical assistance in honey extraction.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kalaivani Batumalaie
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rajes Qvist
    • 1
  • Kamaruddin Mohd Yusof
    • 2
  • Ikram Shah Ismail
    • 1
  • Shamala Devi Sekaran
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Faculty of Arts and ScienceCanik Basari UniversitySamsunTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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