Central European Journal of Biology

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 369–380 | Cite as

Improvement of inflammatory and toxic stress biomarkers by silymarin in a murine model of type one diabetes mellitus

  • Farshad Malihi
  • Azadeh Hosseini-Tabatabaei
  • Hadi Esmaily
  • Reza Khorasani
  • Maryam Baeeri
  • Mohammad AbdollahiEmail author
Research Article


Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is characterized by an impairment of the insulin-secreting beta cells with an immunologic base. Inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β, and free radicals are believed to play key roles in destruction of pancreatic β cells. The present study was designed to investigate the effect of Silybum marianum seed extract (silymarin), a combination of several flavonolignans with immunomodulatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory potential on streptozotocin (STZ)-induced T1DM in mouse. Experimental T1DM was induced in male albino mice by IV injection of multiplelow- doses of STZ for 5 days. Seventy-two male mice in separate groups received various doses of silymarin (20, 40, and 80 mg/kg) concomitant or after induction of diabetes for 21 days. Blood glucose and pancreatic biomarkers of inflammation and toxic stress (IL-1β, TNF-α, myeloperoxidase, lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, thiol molecules, and total antioxidant capacity) were determined. Silymarin treatment reduced levels of inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-1β and oxidative stress mediators like myeloperoxidase activity, lipid peroxidation, carbonyl and thiol content of pancreatic tissue in an almost dose dependent manner. No marked difference between the prevention of T1DM and the reversion of this disease by silymarin was found. Use of silymarin seems to be helpful in T1DM when used as pretreatment or treatment. Benefit of silymarin in human T1DM remains to be elucidated by clinical trials.


Silymarin Diabetes Antioxidants Streptozotocin Oxidative stress Inflammatory cytokines 


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Copyright information

© © Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farshad Malihi
    • 1
  • Azadeh Hosseini-Tabatabaei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hadi Esmaily
    • 1
  • Reza Khorasani
    • 1
  • Maryam Baeeri
    • 1
  • Mohammad Abdollahi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Pharmacy, and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research CenterTehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS)TehranIran
  2. 2.BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn and Wound Healing Research Laboratory, Department of SurgeryUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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