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Br J Pharmacol. 2005 Sep;146(1):41-8.

The hypoglycaemic activity of fenugreek seed extract is mediated through the stimulation of an insulin signalling pathway.

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1
National Centre for Cell Science, NCCS Complex, Pune University Campus, Ganeshkhind, India.

Abstract

The in vivo hypoglycaemic activity of a dialysed fenugreek seed extract (FSE) was studied in alloxan (AXN)-induced diabetic mice and found to be comparable to that of insulin (1.5 U kg(-1)). FSE also improved intraperitoneal glucose tolerance in normal mice. The mechanism by which FSE attenuated hyperglycaemia was investigated in vitro. FSE stimulated glucose uptake in CHO-HIRc-mycGLUT4eGFP cells in a dose-dependent manner. This effect was shown to be mediated by the translocation of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) from the intracellular space to the plasma membrane. These effects of FSE on GLUT4 translocation and glucose uptake were inhibited by wortmannin, a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) inhibitor, and bisindolylmaleimide 1, a protein kinase C (PKC)-specific inhibitor. In vitro phosphorylation analysis revealed that, like insulin, FSE also induces tyrosine phosphorylation of a number of proteins including the insulin receptor, insulin receptor substrate 1 and p85 subunit of PI3-K, in both 3T3-L1 adipocytes and human hepatoma cells, HepG2. However, unlike insulin, FSE had no effect on protein kinase B (Akt) activation. These results suggest that in vivo the hypoglycaemic effect of FSE is mediated, at least in part, by the activation of an insulin signalling pathway in adipocytes and liver cells.

PMID:
15980869
PMCID:
PMC1576255
DOI:
10.1038/sj.bjp.0706312
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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