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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014 Sep;143:152-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2014.02.020. Epub 2014 Mar 7.

Acute administration of diosgenin or dioscorea improves hyperglycemia with increases muscular steroidogenesis in STZ-induced type 1 diabetic rats.

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  • 1Faculty of Sport and Health Science, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, Shiga, Japan.
  • 2Faculty of Sport and Health Science, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, Shiga, Japan. Electronic address:


Acute dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) administration improves hyperglycemia in rats with streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 1 diabetes mellitus. Diosgenin, a steroid structurally similar to DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), is contained highly levels in dioscorea; however, it is still unclear whether this natural product improves hyperglycemia in the type 1 diabetes model rats through an increase muscular GLUT4 signaling. After 1 week of STZ injection, fasting glucose level was measured in blood taken from the tail vein every 30 min for 150 min after injection of diosgenin or dioscorea (3mg/kg). On another day, muscle was resected 150 min after diosgenin or dioscorea injections. Serum DHEA level increased significantly 120 min after diosgenin or dioscorea injections; concomitantly, blood glucose level decreased significantly. Moreover, GLUT4 translocation, as well as phosphorylation of Akt and PKC ζ/λ, increased significantly by diosgenin or dioscorea administration. However, these effects of diosgenin and dioscorea were blocked by a 5α-reductase inhibitor that inhibits synthesizing dehydrotestosterone (DHT) from testosterone. Additionally, significant correlations were observed between blood glucose level, GLUT4 translocation level, and muscular sex steroid hormone level 150 min after the administrations. These results suggest that the diosgenin-induced increase in the DHEA level may contribute to the improvement of hyperglycemia by activating the muscular GLUT4 signaling pathway in type 1 diabetes model rats.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Glucose transporter-4; Natural nutrients; Protein kinase B; Protein kinase C-ζ/λ

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