Antidiabetic effect of total saponins from Polygonatum kingianum in streptozotocin-induced daibetic rats

J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Feb 17;179:291-300. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2015.12.057. Epub 2015 Dec 29.


Background: Polygonatum kingianum has been used in the prevention and treatment of diabetes, hyperlipidemia and related metabolic syndrome in Asian counties for centuries. In this study, the blood glucose regulation activity and mechanism of total saponins from P. kingianum (TSPK) were investigated in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats in this research.

Methods: TSPK (0.025g/kg and 0.1mg/kg) was administrated by gavage to STZ-induced diabetic rats for 8 weeks. Changes of body weight, food intakes, blood glucose, serum insulin and lipid indexes were observed. Genome-wide expression profiling was applied to explore the gene expression alternation after treated with TSPK. Expressions of adenosine monophosphate activated protein kinase (AMPK), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), the relative transcript level of glucose kinase and glucose-6-phosphatase (GK/G6P) in the liver were investigated. Meanwhile, contents of AMPK, and glucose transporter subtype-4 (GLUT4) in skeletal muscle, and peroxysome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR-γ) in adipose tissue were investigated.

Results: TSPK could effectively alleviate hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia in diabetic rats. Genome-wide expression profiling showed that TSPK up-regulated the expression of GLUT4 while down-regulated the expression of G6P in insulin signal pathway. In the liver, the expression of AMPK and GK are increased. Further more, TSPK promoted the expressions of GLUT4 in skeletal muscle, and PPAR-γ in adipose tissue, respectively.

Conclusion: These results provide possible mechanisms for the antidiabetic effects of TSPK. TSPK could promote not only glycogenesis but also glucose utilization in peripheral tissue. Our results suggested that TSPK may be used as adjuvant therapy to control blood glucose and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetic individuals.

Keywords: Antidiabetic effect; Insulin signaling pathway; Polygonatum kingianum; Total saponins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diosgenin
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / metabolism
  • Glucose-6-Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lipids / blood
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase (ATP) / metabolism
  • Polygonatum*
  • Rats
  • Saponins / isolation & purification*
  • Saponins / pharmacology
  • Saponins / therapeutic use*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Streptozocin


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • PPAR gamma
  • Saponins
  • Streptozocin
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Glucose-6-Phosphatase
  • Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxykinase (ATP)
  • Diosgenin