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FEBS Lett. 2008 Apr 16;582(9):1375-80. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2008.03.026. Epub 2008 Mar 24.

Oleanolic acid enhances insulin secretion in pancreatic beta-cells.

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Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G1L7.


We investigated the effect of oleanolic acid, a plant-derived triterpenoid, on insulin secretion and content in pancreatic beta-cells and rat islets. Oleanolic acid significantly enhanced insulin secretion at basal and stimulatory glucose concentrations in INS-1 832/13 cells and enhanced acute glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in isolated rat islets. In the cell line the effects of oleanolic acid on insulin secretion were comparable to that of the sulfonylurea tolbutamide at basal glucose levels and with the incretin mimetic Exendin-4 under glucose-stimulated conditions, yet neither Ca(2+) nor cAMP rose in response to oleanolic acid. Chronic treatment with oleanolic acid increased total cellular insulin protein and mRNA levels. These effects may contribute to the anti-diabetic properties of this natural product.

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