Ethanolic extract of Ocimum sanctum leaves partially attenuates streptozotocin-induced alterations in glycogen content and carbohydrate metabolism in rats

J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Jan;90(1):155-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2003.09.034.


Ocimum sanctum (OS) has been mentioned in Indian system of traditional medicine to be of value in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. We have previously shown that OS shows a dose-dependent hypoglycemic effect and prevented rise in plasma glucose in normal rats. It also showed significant antihyperglycemic effect in STZ-induced diabetes. The present study was undertaken to assess the effect of OS on three important enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism [glucokinase (GK) (EC, hexokinase (HK) (EC and phosphofructokinase (PFK) (EC] along with glycogen content of insulin-dependent (skeletal muscle and liver) and insulin-independent tissues (kidneys and brain) in STZ (65 mg/kg) induced model of diabetes for 30 days. Administration of OS extract 200mg/kg for 30 days led to decrease in plasma glucose levels by approximately 9.06 and 26.4% on 15th and 30th day of the experiment. Liver and two-kidney weight expressed as percentage of body weight significantly increased in diabetics (P<0.0005) versus normal controls. OS significantly decreased renal (P<0.0005) but not liver weight. Renal glycogen content increased by over 10 folds while hepatic and skeletal muscle glycogen content decreased by 75 and 68% in diabetic controls versus controls. OS did not affect glycogen content in any tissue. Activity of HK, GK and PFK in diabetic controls was 35, 50 and 60% of the controls and OS partially corrected this alteration.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Glucokinase / metabolism
  • Glycogen / metabolism*
  • Hexokinase / metabolism
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • India
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Ocimum*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Phosphofructokinases / metabolism
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Leaves
  • Rats
  • Streptozocin


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Streptozocin
  • Glycogen
  • Phosphofructokinases
  • Hexokinase
  • Glucokinase