Antidiabetic effect of some medicinal plants of Oriental Morocco in neonatal non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus rats

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2010 Oct;29(10):865-71. doi: 10.1177/0960327110362704. Epub 2010 Feb 12.


The goal of the present study is to test the effect of water extract (WE) of four medicinal plants used as antidiabetics in Eastern Morocco (Arbutus unedo: Au, Ammoïdes pusilla: Ap, Thymelaea hirsuta: Th, and Urtica dioïca: Ud). These plants are used in cooking to bring out the flavor in a dish or to complement it. The first experiment was realized in order to determine the antidiabetic effect of the WE of these plants during 5 weeks' treatment. Seven groups of Wistar rats were used: Healthy controls, neonatal streptozotocin (n-stz) induced-diabetic rats (90 mg/kg; intraperitoneally [i.p.]), n-stz + tolbutamide (400 mg/l), and 4 groups n-stz + WE of plants (400 mg/l, drink water). The percentages of Plasma glucose lowering effect were, respectively for Au, Ap, Th, Ud and tolbutamide: 31.6 % p<0.01, 27.4 % p<0.05, 38.2 % p<0.01, 13 % and 33.9 % p<0.05 when compared with untreated diabetic controls. In a second experiment, oral glucose tolerance tests were carried out in n-stz induced-diabetic rats. The i.p. administration of the water extract (WE) of Ap and Ud (150 mg/kg) 30 minutes before the glucose overload (2 g/kg) showed a significant reduction glycemia, respectively of 36 % at 60 min (p<0.05) and 50 % at 180 min (p<0.05) after glucose overload compared with controls. In contrast, the effect of WE of Au and Th (150 mg/kg, i.p.) was not significant. The in vitro study of glucose utilization by isolated rat hemidiaphragm suggests that these extracts in combination with insulin potentiate its activity and enhance the utilization of glucose. In conclusion, it seems that these plants possess antidiabetic activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Apiaceae / chemistry
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Diaphragm / drug effects
  • Diaphragm / metabolism
  • Drug Synergism
  • Ericaceae / chemistry
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Magnoliopsida / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Morocco
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Thymelaeaceae / chemistry


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Plant Extracts
  • Glucose