Role of gymnemic acid in ameliorating altered liver metabolism in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats


Author(s): Lakshmi S, Ancy A, AnjuT.R

The liver plays a pivotal role in glucose homeostasis and any impairment in glucose metabolism can cause liver dysfunctions. Hence in managing conditions like diabetes mellitus, it is important to monitor hepatic signaling too. This gives momentum for phytotherapy for diabetes management due to its multifactorial effects. Gymnemic acid, the active constituent of Gymnemasylvestre, is a potent antihyperglycemic agent with effects on other organ functions too. The present study evaluated the therapeutic effect of gymnemic acid in managing the hepatic functional alterations in diabetes. Enzyme kinetics of malate dehydrogenase (MDH) and Real-Time PCR analysis of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) mRNA expression were carried out in the liver of diabetic rats. We observed that liver MDH activity was differentially altered in cytosolic and mitochondrial extracts of diabetic rats. Treatment with gymnemic acid helped in reducing the MDH activity in the cytosolic fraction and increasing the activity in the mitochondrial fraction. In addition, the down-regulated HGF and HIF1α expression in diabetic conditions were reversed by treatment with gymnemic acid. The evident hepatoprotective action of gymnemic acid in diabetes condition can be exploited for future therapeutic interventions for diabetes

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