Scoparia dulcis, a traditional antidiabetic plant, protects against streptozotocin induced oxidative stress and apoptosis in vitro and in vivo

Muniappan Latha, Leelavinothan Pari, Sandhya Sitasawad, Ramesh Bhonde
Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology 2004, 18 (5): 261-72
Oxidative stress is implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications. The experiments were performed on normal and experimental male Wistar rats treated with Scoparia dulcis plant extract (SPEt). The effect of SPEt was tested on streptozotocin (STZ) treated Rat insulinoma cell lines (RINm5F cells) and isolated islets in vitro. Administration of an aqueous extract of Scoparia dulcis by intragastric intubation (po) at a dose of 200 mg/kg body weight significantly decreased the blood glucose and lipid peroxidative marker thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) with significant increase in the activities of plasma insulin, pancreatic superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and reduced glutathione (GSH) in streptozotocin diabetic rats at the end of 15 days treatment. Streptozotocin at a dose of 10 mug/mL evoked 6-fold stimulation of insulin secretion from isolated islets indicating its insulin secretagogue activity. The extract markedly reduced the STZ-induced lipidperoxidation in RINm5F cells. Further, SPEt protected STZ-mediated cytotoxicity and nitric oxide (NO) production in RINm5F cells. Treatment of RINm5F cells with 5 mM STZ and 10 mug of SPEt completely abrogated apoptosis induced by STZ, suggesting the involvement of oxidative stress. Flow cytometric assessment on the level of intracellular peroxides using fluorescent probe 2'7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCF-DA) confirmed that STZ (46%) induced an intracellular oxidative stress in RINm5F cells, which was suppressed by SPEt (21%). In addition, SPEt also reduced (33%) the STZ-induced apoptosis (72%) in RINm5F cells indicating the mode of protection of SPEt on RIN m5Fcells, islets, and pancreatic beta-cell mass (histopathological observations). Present study thus confirms antihyperglycemic effect of SPEt and also demonstrated the consistently strong antioxidant properties of Scoparia dulcis used in the traditional medicine.

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