The anti-diabetic effect of anthocyanins in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats through glucose transporter 4 regulation and prevention of insulin resistance and pancreatic apoptosis

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2009 Nov;53(11):1419-29. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.200800526.


Hyperglycemia, abnormal lipid and antioxidant profiles are the most usual complications in diabetes mellitus. Thus, in this study, we investigated the anti-diabetic and anti-oxidative effects of anthocyanins (ANT) from black soybean seed coats in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. The administration of ANT markedly decreased glucose levels and improved heart hemodynamic function (left ventricular end diastolic pressure, +/-dp/dt parameters). ANT not only enhanced STZ-mediated insulin level decreases, but also decreased the triglyceride levels induced by STZ injection in serum. Diabetic rats exhibited a lower expression of glucose transporter 4 proteins in the membrane fractions of heart and skeletal muscle tissues, which was enhanced by ANT. In addition, ANT activated insulin receptor phosphorylation, suggesting an increased utilization of glucose by tissues. Moreover, ANT protected pancreatic tissue from STZ-induced apoptosis through regulation of caspase-3, Bax, and Bcl-2 proteins. Furthermore, ANT significantly suppressed malondialdehyde levels and restored superoxide dismutase and catalase activities in diabetic rats. Interestingly, the observed effects of ANT were superior to those of glibenclamide. Taken together, ANT from black soybean seed coat have anti-diabetic effects that are due, in part, to the regulation of glucose transporter 4 and prevention of insulin resistance and pancreatic apoptosis, suggesting a possible use as a drug to regulate diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / physiology*
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Pancreas / drug effects*
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Streptozocin
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Anthocyanins
  • Blood Glucose
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Slc2a4 protein, rat
  • Triglycerides
  • Streptozocin