Objectives: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been implicated in the development of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes mellitus. Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG) isolated from flaxseed is an antioxidant. An investigation was made of the effects of SDG on the development of STZ-induced diabetes in rat, to determine if SDG can prevent/reduce the development of diabetes and if this prevention/reduction is associated with reduction in oxidative stress.
Design and methods: The rats were divided into 4 groups: Group I, Control; Group II, SDG (22 mg/kg body wt, orally) for 24 days; Group III, STZ (80 mg/kg intraperitoneally); Group IV, SDG in the dose similar to Group II three days prior to STZ and 21 days thereafter. Oxidative stress was assessed by measuring serum and pancreatic lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde (MDA), pancreatic antioxidant reserve (pancreatic-CL) and oxygen free radical producing activity of white blood cells (WBC-CL). A diagnosis of diabetes was made on the basis of glucosuria and was confirmed at the time of sacrifice (21 days after STZ treatment) by the presence of hyperglycemia. At the end of the protocol blood samples were collected for estimation of glucose, MDA and WBC-CL, and pancreas were removed for estimation of MDA and antioxidant reserve.
Results: Incidence of diabetes was 100% in Group III and 25% in Group IV. SDG prevented the development of diabetes by 75%. Development of diabetes was associated with an increase in serum and pancreatic MDA, and in WBC-CL, and a decrease in pancreatic antioxidant reserve. Prevention of diabetes by SDG was associated with a decrease in serum and pancreatic MDA and WBC-CL and an increase in pancreatic antioxidant reserve.
Conclusions: These results suggest that STZ-induced diabetes is mediated through oxidative stress and that SDG is effective in reducing the STZ-induced diabetes mellitus.