Effect of curcumin and quercetin on lysosomal enzyme activities in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

Clin Nutr. 2012 Oct;31(5):749-55. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2012.02.003. Epub 2012 Mar 24.


Background & aims: Diabetes causes impairment of various enzyme activities in the physiological system, including lysosomal enzymes. The effect of feeding curcumin, quercetin and aminoguanidine on lysosomal enzyme activities viz., N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase, β-d-glucuronidase, β-d-galactosidase and acid phosphatase were studied in different tissues of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

Method: Rats were divided into four control groups and four diabetic groups. Experimental groups were fed with diet supplemented with curcumin (0.5%) or quercetin (0.1%) or aminoguanidine (0.05%). Lysosomal enzyme activities were determined in various tissues.

Results: The specific activity of N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase in liver of diabetic rats was decreased when compared to control rats and was ameliorated with curcumin and quercetin treatment by 67% and 78%, respectively. On the other hand, β-d-glucuronidase activity was higher in the brain of diabetic rats (0.90 ± 0.04 nmol/mg protein/min), when compared to control rats (0.45 ± 0.02 nmol/mg protein/min) and was decreased in curcumin (0.75 ± 0.05 nmol/mg protein/min) and quercetin (0.74 ± 0.11 nmol/mg protein/min) treated rats. β-d-galactosidase activity in spleen of curcumin and quercetin fed diabetic group rats was ameliorated by 68% and 58%, respectively, in comparison to diabetic rats. Acid phosphatase activity in diabetic rats decreased in testis when compared to control.

Conclusion: Curcumin and quercetin feeding modulated lysosomal enzyme activities in different tissues during diabetes and the effect was comparable to well-known anti-glycative agent - aminoguanidine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylglucosaminidase / metabolism
  • Acid Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / enzymology*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Fasting
  • Glucuronidase / metabolism
  • Guanidines / pharmacology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Quercetin / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Spleen / drug effects
  • Spleen / enzymology
  • beta-Galactosidase / metabolism


  • Blood Glucose
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Guanidines
  • Quercetin
  • Acid Phosphatase
  • beta-Galactosidase
  • Glucuronidase
  • Acetylglucosaminidase
  • Curcumin
  • pimagedine