Antidiabetic effect of plumbagin isolated from Plumbago zeylanica L. root and its effect on GLUT4 translocation in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Dec;50(12):4356-63. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.08.046. Epub 2012 Aug 30.


Plumbago zeylanica L. root is widely used in Indian medicine to treat diabetes mellitus. The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate the antidiabetic effects of plumbagin isolated from P. zeylanica L. root and its effect on GLUT4 translocation in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Plumbagin (15 and 30 mg/kg b wt) was orally administered to STZ-induced diabetic rats for 28 days. An oral glucose tolerance test was performed on 21st day. The effect of plumbagin on body weight, blood glucose, plasma insulin, total protein, urea, creatinine, liver glycogen, plasma enzymes (SGOT, SGPT and ALP) and carbohydrate metabolism enzymes (glucose-6-phosphatase, fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase and hexokinase) were investigated. GLUT4 mRNA and protein expression in skeletal muscles were also studied. Plumbagin significantly reduced the blood glucose and significantly altered all other biochemical parameters to near normal. Further, plumbagin increased the activity of hexokinase and decreased the activities of glucose-6-phosphatase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase significantly in treated diabetic rats. Enhanced GLUT4 mRNA and protein expression were observed in diabetic rats after treatment with plumbagin. The results indicated that plumbagin enhanced GLUT4 translocation and contributed to glucose homeostasis. It could be further probed for use as a drug to treat diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blotting, Western
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Fructose-Bisphosphatase / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / genetics
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / metabolism*
  • Glucose-6-Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Hexokinase / metabolism
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Liver Glycogen / metabolism
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Naphthoquinones / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Plumbaginaceae / chemistry*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Toxicity Tests, Acute


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Liver Glycogen
  • Naphthoquinones
  • Plant Extracts
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Slc2a4 protein, rat
  • Creatinine
  • Hexokinase
  • Fructose-Bisphosphatase
  • Glucose-6-Phosphatase
  • plumbagin