Regulation of carbohydrate metabolism by indole-3-carbinol and its metabolite 3,3′-diindolylmethane in high-fat diet-induced C57BL/6J mice


Indole glucosinolates, present in cruciferous vegetables have been investigated for their putative pharmacological properties. The current study was designed to analyse whether the treatment of the indole glucosinolates—indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and its metabolite 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM) could alter the carbohydrate metabolism in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced C57BL/6J mice. The plasma glucose, insulin, haemoglobin (Hb), glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), glycogen and the activities of glycolytic enzyme (hexokinase), hepatic shunt enzyme (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase), gluconeogenic enzymes (glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase) were analysed in liver and kidney of the treated and HFD mice. Histopathological examination of liver and pancreases were also carried out. The HFD mice show increased glucose, insulin and HbA1c and decreased Hb and glycogen levels. The elevated activity of glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase and subsequent decline in the activity of glucokinase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase were seen in HFD mice. Among treatment groups, the mice administered with I3C and DIM, DIM shows decreased glucose, insulin and HbA1c and increased Hb and glycogen content in liver when compared to I3C, which was comparable with the standard drug metformin. The similar result was also obtained in case of carbohydrate metabolism enzymes; treatment with DIM positively regulates carbohydrate metabolic enzymes by inducing the activity of glucokinase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and suppressing the activity of glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase when compared to I3C, which were also supported by our histopathological observations.

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Correspondence to Sankaran Mirunalini.

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Poornima, J., Mirunalini, S. Regulation of carbohydrate metabolism by indole-3-carbinol and its metabolite 3,3′-diindolylmethane in high-fat diet-induced C57BL/6J mice. Mol Cell Biochem 385, 7–15 (2014).

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  • Gluconeogenesis
  • Insulin resistant
  • Antihyperglycemic effect
  • Treatment
  • Hexokinase
  • Glycogen