Profile of aldose reductase inhibition, anti-cataract and free radical scavenging activity of selected medicinal plants: an attempt to standardize the botanicals for amelioration of diabetes complications

Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Aug;49(8):1806-13. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2011.04.032. Epub 2011 May 5.


Phytotherapy has played an important role in the management of diabetes and related complications. In the present study different fractions of Catharanthus roseus L. (Apocynaceae), Ocimum sanctum L. (Labiatae), Tinospora cordifolia Willd. (Menispermaceae), Aegle marmelos L. (Rutaceae), Ficus golmerata L. (Moraceae), Psoralea corlifolia L. (Fabaceae), Tribulus terrestris L. (Zygophyllaceae), and Morinda cetrifolia L. (Rubiaceae) were evaluated as possible inhibitors of aldose reductase (AR: a key enzyme implicated in cataractogenesis) and antioxidant agents. Anti-cataract activity of the selected plants was demonstrated using 'sugar induced lens opacity model' and the cytotoxicity studies were carried out using MTT assay. Among the tested plants, water extract of M. cetrifolia (IC50 0.132 mg/ml) exhibited maximum AR inhibitory activity as compared to other phytofractions which showed the activity in an IC50 range of 0.176-0.0.82 mg/ml. All the plant fractions showed considerable antioxidant potential. Sugar induced lens opacity studies revealed that, M. cetrifolia possess significant anti-cataract potential to maintain lens opacity as compared to glucose induced lens opacity in bovine lens model. The extract of the selected plants showed moderate cytotoxicity against HeLa cell line. Results of the present studies may find useful in converting botanicals into therapeutic modalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aegle / chemistry
  • Aldehyde Reductase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / analysis
  • Cataract / prevention & control*
  • Catharanthus / chemistry
  • Cattle
  • Diabetes Complications / drug therapy*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Ficus / chemistry
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Menispermaceae / chemistry
  • Morinda / chemistry
  • Ocimum / chemistry
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Phytotherapy / standards*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry
  • Psoralea / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Tinospora / chemistry
  • Tribulus / chemistry


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Flavonoids
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Aldehyde Reductase
  • Ascorbic Acid