Send to

Choose Destination
Diabetologia. 2006 Oct;49(10):2437-48. Epub 2006 Aug 9.

Naphthalenemethyl ester derivative of dihydroxyhydrocinnamic acid, a component of cinnamon, increases glucose disposal by enhancing translocation of glucose transporter 4.

Author information

Julia McFarlane Diabetes Research Centre and Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.



Cinnamon extracts have anti-diabetic effects. Phenolic acids, including hydrocinnamic acids, were identified as major components of cinnamon extracts. Against this background we sought to develop a new anti-diabetic compound using derivatives of hydroxycinnamic acids purified from cinnamon.


We purified hydroxycinnamic acids from cinnamon, synthesised a series of derivatives, and screened them for glucose transport activity in vitro. We then selected the compound with the highest glucose transport activity in epididymal adipocytes isolated from male Sprague-Dawley rats in vitro, tested it for glucose-lowering activity in vivo, and studied the mechanisms involved.


A naphthalenemethyl ester of 3,4-dihydroxyhydrocinnamic acid (DHH105) showed the highest glucose transport activity in vitro. Treatment of streptozotocin-induced diabetic C57BL/6 mice and spontaneously diabetic ob/ob mice with DHH105 decreased blood glucose levels to near normoglycaemia. Further studies revealed that DHH105 increased the maximum speed of glucose transport and the translocation of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4, now known as solute carrier family 2 [facilitated glucose transporter], member 4 [SLC2A4]) in adipocytes, resulting in increased glucose uptake. In addition, DHH105 enhanced phosphorylation of the insulin receptor-beta subunit and insulin receptor substrate-1 in adipocytes, both in vitro and in vivo. This resulted in the activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Akt/protein kinase B, contributing to the translocation of GLUT4 to the plasma membrane.


We conclude that DHH105 lowers blood glucose levels through the enhancement of glucose transport, mediated by an increase in insulin-receptor signalling. DHH105 may be a valuable candidate for a new anti-diabetic drug.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center