Efficacy of natural diosgenin on cardiovascular risk, insulin secretion, and beta cells in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats

Phytomedicine. 2014 Sep 15;21(10):1154-61. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2014.04.005. Epub 2014 Jun 2.


Costus igneus, has been prescribed for the treatment of diabetic mellitus in India for several years. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of plant derived diosgenin on cardiovascular risk, insulin secretion, and pancreatic composition through electron microscopical studies of normal and diabetic rats. Diosgenin at a dose of 5 or 10mg/kg per body weight (bw) was orally administered as a single dose per day to diabetic induced rats for a period of 30 days. The effect of diosgenin on blood glucose, HbA1c, PT, APTT, Oxy-LDL, serum lipid profile, electron microscopical studies of pancreas, antioxidant enzymes (in liver, kidney, pancreas) and hepatoprotective enzymes in plasma and liver were measured in normal and diabetic rats. The results showed that fasting blood glucose, PT, APTT, Oxy-LDL, TC, TG, LDL, ALT, AST, ALP, glucose-6-phosphatase, fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase and LPO levels were significantly (p<0.05) increased, whereas HDL, SOD, CAT, GSH and the glycolytic enzyme glucokinase levels were significantly (p<0.05) decreased in the diabetes induced rats and these levels were significantly (p<0.05) reversed back to normal in diabetes induced rats after 30 days of treatment with diosgenin. Electron microscopical studies of the pancreas revealed that the number of beta cells and insulin granules were increased in streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats after 30 days of treatment with diosgenin. In conclusion, the data obtained from the present study strongly indicate that diosgenin has potential effects on cardiovascular risk, insulin secretion and beta cell regeneration in STZ induced diabetic rats, these results could be useful for new drug development to fight diabetes and its related cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: Cardiovascular; Diosgenin; Insulin; Oxy-LDL.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Costus / chemistry*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diosgenin / chemistry
  • Diosgenin / isolation & purification
  • Diosgenin / pharmacology*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Hyperglycemia / drug therapy
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / chemistry
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / drug effects
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Male
  • Pancreas / drug effects
  • Pancreas / ultrastructure
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Streptozocin / adverse effects


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Plant Extracts
  • Streptozocin
  • Diosgenin