The aim of the current study was to investigate the oral antidiabetic activity of six structurally related flavonoids: flavone (1), 3-hydroxyflavone (2), 6-hydroxyflavone (3), 7-hydroxyflavone (4), chrysin (5) and quercetin (6). Normoglycemic and STZ-nicotinamide diabetic rats were treated with these flavonoids (50 mg/kg) and the hypoglycemic and antidiabetic effects in acute and sub acute (five days of treatment) experiments were determined. Compounds 1, 5 and 6 were found most active in both experiments in comparison with control group (p<0.05). After five days of administration to STZ-nicotinamide diabetic rats, flavonoids induced a significantly diminishing of total cholesterol, TG and LDL and an augment of HDL compared with the control group (p<0.05). The in vitro inhibitory activity of the compounds against 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11beta-HSD1) was also evaluated. Quercetin, the most active compound, was docked into the crystal structure of 11beta-HSD1. Docking results indicate potential hydrogen bond interactions with hydroxyl groups of catalytic amino acid residues.
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