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Lipids Health Dis. 2012 Aug 6;11:98. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-11-98.

Antihyperglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of α, β-amyrin, a triterpenoid mixture from Protium heptaphyllum in mice.

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1
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil. flavia@ufc.br

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pentacyclic triterpenes in general exert beneficial effects in metabolic disorders. This study investigated the effects of α, β-amyrin, a pentacyclic triterpene mixture from the resin of Protium heptaphyllum on blood sugar level and lipid profile in normal and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice, and in mice fed on a high-fat diet (HFD).

FINDINGS:

Mice treated with α, β-amyrin (10, 30 and 100 mg/kg, p.o.) or glibenclamide (10 mg/kg, p.o.) had significantly reduced STZ-induced increases in blood glucose (BG), total cholesterol (TC) and serum triglycerides (TGs). Unlike glibenclamide that showed significant reductions in BG, TC and TGs in normoglycemic mice, α, β-amyrin did not lower normal blood sugar levels but at 100 mg/kg, manifested a hypolipidemic effect. Also, α, β-amyrin effectively reduced the elevated plasma glucose levels during the oral glucose tolerance test. Moreover, the plasma insulin level and histopathological analysis of pancreas revealed the beneficial effect of α, β-amyrin in the preservation of beta cell integrity. In mice treated orally with α, β-amyrin (10, 30 and 100 mg/kg) or fenofibrate (200 mg/kg), the HFD-associated rise in serum TC and TGs were significantly less. The hypocholesterolemic effect of α, β-amyrin appeared more prominent at 100 mg/kg with significant decreases in VLDL and LDL cholesterol and an elevation of HDL cholesterol. Besides, the atherogenic index was significantly reduced by α, β-amyrin.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings reflect the potential antihyperglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of α, β-amyrin mixture and suggest that it could be a lead compound for drug development effective in diabetes and atherosclerosis.

PMID:
22867128
PMCID:
PMC3484111
DOI:
10.1186/1476-511X-11-98
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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