Effect of Rebaudioside A, a diterpenoid on glucose homeostasis in STZ-induced diabetic rats

Ramalingam Saravanan, Kaliyappan Vengatash babu, Vinayagam Ramachandran
Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry 2012, 68 (3): 421-31
Rebaudioside A (Reb A), a major constituent of Stevia rebaudiana, was recently proposed as an insulinotropic agent. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the antihyperglycemic effect of Reb A on the activities of hepatic enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced in adult male Albino Wistar rats, weighing 180-200 g, by a single intraperitoneal injection at a dose of STZ (40 mg/kg body weight). Diabetic rats showed significant (P<0.05) increase in the levels of plasma glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin and significant (P<0.05) decrease in the levels of plasma insulin and hemoglobin. Activities of gluconeogenic enzymes such as glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase were significantly (P<0.05) increased while hexokinase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase were significantly (P<0.05) decreased in the liver along with glycogen. Oral treatment with Reb A to diabetic rats significantly (P<0.05) decreased blood glucose and reversed these hepatic carbohydrate metabolizing enzymes in a significant manner. Histopathology changes of pancreas confirmed the protective effects of Reb A in diabetic rats. Thus, the results show that Reb A possesses an antihyperglycemic activity and provide evidence for its traditional usage in the control of diabetes.

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