Skip to main content

Antihyperglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of Helicteres isora roots in alloxan-induced diabetic rats: a possible mechanism of action


The antihyperglycemic and hypolipidemic activities of Helicteres isora Linn. (Sterculiaceae) root extracts were investigated in alloxan-induced diabetic rats and a possible mechanism of the blood glucose lowering action was studied. Alloxan-induced diabetic rats experienced 69.13 and 51.14%, 22.60 and 21.89%, 30.12 and 19.96%, and 50.05 and 34.29% reduction in blood glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and urea levels following oral administration of butanol and aqueous ethanol extracts of H. isora root, respectively, at 250 mg/kg for 10 days. The beneficial effects of these extracts were supported by evidence from histological examinations of the liver, pancreas, and kidney. Following the treatment with both extracts, the degenerative changes caused by alloxan in pancreatic cells were restored, particularly with the butanol extract. Histological examination convincingly showed the restoration of pancreatic islets, kidney glomeruli, and liver to its normal size. These results suggest that H. isora roots possess antidiabetic principles and can be useful for treatment of diabetes.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  1. 1.

    Cowie CC, Eberhardt MS (1996) Diabetes: vital statistics. American Diabetes Association, Alexandria

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Rang HP, Dale MM (1991) The endocrine system pharmacology, 2nd edn. Longgman, UK, pp 504–508

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Alarcon-Aguilara FJ, Roman-Ramas R, Perez-Gutierrez S, Aguilar-Contreras A, Contreras-Weber CC, Flores-Saenz JL (1998) Study of the anti-hyperglycemic effect of plants used as anti-diabetics. J Ethnopharmacol 61:101–110

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Grover JK, Yadav S, Vats V (2002) Medicinal plants of India with anti-diabetic potential. J Ethnopharmacol 81:81–100

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Mukherjee SK, Saxena AM, Shukla G (2002) Progress of diabetes research in India during 20th century. National Institute of Science Communication (CSIR), New Delhi, India, pp 93–96

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Shapiro K, William CG (2002) Natural products used for diabetes. J Am Pharm Assoc (Wash) 42:217–226

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Anonymous (1959) The wealth of India, vol V. CSIR, New Delhi, India, pp 27–29

  8. 8.

    Chopra RN, Nayar SL, Chopra IC (1956) Glossary of Indian medicinal plants. CSIR, New Delhi, India, p 131

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Kirthikar KR, Basu BD, An ICS (1981) Indian medicinal plants, vol 1. Lalit Mohan Basu, Allahabad, India, pp 370–372

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Bean MF, Antoun M, Abrmson D, Chang CJ, Mc Laughlin JL, Cassady JM (1985) Cucurbitacin B and isocucurbitacin B: cytotoxic components of Helicteres isora. J Nat Prod 48:500

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Chakrabarti R, Reeba KV, Ramesh M, Sharma VM, Jagadheshan H, Rao YN, Sairam P, Rajagopalan R (2002) Antidiabetic and hypolipidemic activity of Helicteres isora in animal models. J Ethnopharmacol 81:343–349

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Kumar G, Banu SG, Murugugesan AG, Pandian MR (2006) Hypoglycaemic effect of Helicteres isora bark extract in rats. J Ethanopharmacol 107:304–307

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Kumar G, Murugesan AG, Pandian MR (2006) Effect of Helicteres isora bark extract on blood glucose and hepatic enzymes in experimental diabetes. Pharmazie 61:353–355

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Venkatesh S, Dayanand Reddy G, Madhava Reddy B (2003) Antihyperglycemic activity of Helicteres isora roots in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Pharm Biol 41:347–350

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Venkatesh S, Dayanand Reddy G, Reddy YSR, Sathyavathy D, Madhava Reddy B (2004) Effect of Helicteres isora root extracts on glucose tolerance in glucose-induced hyperglycemic rats. Fitoterapia 75:364–367

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Sailakshmi K, Venkatesh S, Reddy BM, Mullangi R (2007) Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of Helicteres isora root. Indian Drugs 44:295–299

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Venkatesh S, Lakxmi KS, Reddy BM, Ramesh M (2007) Antinociceptive activity of Helicteres isora. Fitoterapia 78:146–148

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Joy KL, Kuttan R (1999) Anti-diabetic activity of Picrorrhiza kurroa extract. J Ethnopharmacol 67:143–148

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Trinder P (1969) Determination of glucose in blood using glucose oxidase with an alternative oxygen acceptor. Ann Clin Biochem 6:24–27

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Dunn JS, Sheehan HL, Mc Letchie NGB (1943) Necrosis of Islets of Langerhans produced experimentally. Lancet 244:484–487

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Luna GLHT (1968) Manual of histological and special staining methods of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, 3rd edn. McGraw-Hill, New York, pp 1–16

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Cakici I, Conset H, Baha T, Nurettin AIK, Bilge S (1994) Hypoglycemic effect of Momordica charantia extracts in normoglycemic or cyprohepatidine induced hyperglycaemic mice. J Ethnopharmacol 44:117–121

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Claus CR (1970) Drugs producing diabetes through damage of the insulin secreting cells. Pharmacol Rev 22:485–518

    Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Kameswara Rao B, Appa Rao CH (2001) Hypoglycemic and antihyperglycemic activity of Syzygium alternifolium Walp. Seed extracts in normal and diabetic rats. Phytomedicine 8:88–93

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Chakravarthy BK, Gupta S, Gambhir SS, Gode KD (1980) Pancreatic β-cell regeneration—a novel antidiabetic mechanism of Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb. Indian J Pharmacol 12:123–127

    Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Chakravarthy BK, Gupta S, Gode KD (1982) Functional beta cell regeneration in the islets of pancreas in alloxan induced diabetic rats by (−)-epicatechin. Life Sci 31:2693–2697

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Ghosh S, Suryawanshi SA (2001) Effect of Vinca rosea extracts in treatment of alloxan diabetes in male albino rats. Indian J Exp Biol 39:748–759

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Cherian S, Augusti KT (1993) Antidiabetic effect of a glycoside of leucopelargonidin isolated from Ficus bengalensis Linn. Indian J Exp Biol 31:26–29

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Kumari K, Mathew BC (1995) Antidiabetic and hypolipidemic effects of S-methyl cysteine sulfoxide isolated from Allium cepa Linn. Indian J Biochem Biophys 32:49–54

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Prince PSM, Menon VP, Gunasekharan G (1999) Hypolipidaemic action of Tinospora cordifolia roots in alloxan diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol 64:53–57

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Kameswara Rao B, Kesavulu MM, Giri R, Appa Rao CH (1999) Antidiabetic and hypolipidemic effects of Momordica cymbalaria Hook fruit powder in alloxan diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol 67:103–109

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Sharma SB, Nasir A, Prabhu KM, Murthy PS, Dev G (2003) Hypoglycaemic and hypolipidemic effect of ethanolic extract of seeds of Eugenia jambolana in alloxan-induced diabetic rabbits. J Ethnopharmacol 85:201–206

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Al-Shamaony L, Al-Khazraji SM, Twaji HA (1994) Hypoglycaemic effect of Artemisia herbas alba 11. Effect of a valuable extract on some blood parameters in diabetic animals. J Ethnopharmacol 43:167–171

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Laakso M (1995) Epidemiology of diabetic dyslipidemia. Diabetes Rev 3:408–412

    Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Jimenez-Diaz C, Grande-Convian F, De Oya JC (1946) Alloxan diabetes and kidney function. Nature 158:589

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Sahnmugasundaram KR, Pannerselvam SP, Samudram P, Shanmugasundaram ER (1983) Enzyme changes and glucose utilization in diabetic rabbits. The effect of Gymnema sylvestre R. Br J Ethnopharmacol 7:205–234

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


SV wishes to thank the All India Council of Technical Education, New Delhi, for providing financial support. The authors also wish to thank the management of the college for encouragement and providing facilities.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sama Venkatesh.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Venkatesh, S., Madhava Reddy, B., Dayanand Reddy, G. et al. Antihyperglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of Helicteres isora roots in alloxan-induced diabetic rats: a possible mechanism of action. J Nat Med 64, 295–304 (2010).

Download citation


  • Helicteres isora
  • Sterculiaceae
  • Roots
  • Hypoglycemic activity
  • Hypolipidemic activity
  • Alloxan
  • Histopathology
  • Diabetic rats