Treatment with ferulic acid to rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes: effects on oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and apoptosis in the pancreatic β cell

Endocrine. 2013 Oct;44(2):369-79. doi: 10.1007/s12020-012-9868-8. Epub 2013 Jan 9.


In the present study, we aimed to investigate the protective effect of ferulic acid at different doses (50 mg/kg alternative day and 50 mg/kg daily) on diabetic rats and to explore the interrelationship between oxidative stress and cytokines correlates with apoptotic events in pancreatic tissue. Male Wistar rats were rendered diabetic by a single intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg body weight). Ferulic acid was administered orally for 8 weeks. At the end of the study, all animals were sacrificed. Blood samples were collected for the biochemical estimations and pancreas was isolated for antioxidant status, histopathological, immunohistochemical, and apoptotic studies. Treatment with ferulic acid to diabetic rats significantly improved blood glucose, serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, creatinine, urea, and albumin levels toward normal. Furthermore, decrement of the elevated lipid peroxidation levels and increment of the reduced superoxide dismutase, catalase, and reduced glutathione enzyme activities in pancreatic tissues were observed in ferulic acid-treated groups. Ferulic acid-treated rats in the diabetic group showed an improved histological appearance. Our data also revealed a significant reduction in the activity of apoptosis using terminal dUTP nick end-labeling and reduced expression of TGF-β1 and IL-1β in the pancreatic β-cell of ferulic acid-treated rats. Treatment with ferulic acid daily doses produced a significant result compared to alternative dose. Collectively our results suggested that ferulic acid acts as a protective agent in diabetic rats by altering oxidative stress, expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and apoptosis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Coumaric Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / physiopathology
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / drug effects*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / physiology
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Streptozocin
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Coumaric Acids
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Streptozocin
  • ferulic acid