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Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Sep 30;667(1-3):410-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2011.05.025. Epub 2011 Jun 7.

Antidiabetic activity of γ-sitosterol isolated from Lippia nodiflora L. in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats.

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Division of Ethnopharmacology, Entomology Research Institute, Loyola College, Chennai 600034, India.


Lippia nodiflora L. (Verbenaceae) is a creeping perennial herb widely used in traditional system of medicine to treat ulcers, bronchitis and heart diseases; it also possesses antidiabetic property. In the present study, γ-sitosterol isolated from Lippia nodiflora was screened for its antidiabetic property in streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats. Insulin secretion in response to glucose was evaluated in isolated rat islets. Oral administration of γ-sitosterol (20 mg/kg body weight) once daily for 21 days in STZ-induced diabetic rats resulted in a significant decrease in blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin with a significant increase in plasma insulin level, body weight and food intake. Furthermore γ-sitosterol showed antihyperlipidemic activity as evidenced by significant decrease in serum total cholesterol, triglycerides and very low density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels coupled with elevation of high density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels in treated rats. A significant decrease in the activities of alanine aminotransaminase, aspartate aminotransaminase, alkaline phosphatase and acid phosphatase in γ-sitosterol treated rats when compared to diabetic control rats indicated its protective role against liver damage. γ-Sitosterol increased insulin secretion in response to glucose. Immunohistochemical study of pancreas also confirmed the biochemical findings. These results indicated that γ-sitosterol, the compound isolated from L. nodiflora, possessed antihyperglycemic activity.

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