Anti-diabetic activities of traditional Chinese herbal medicine in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats

Okajimas Folia Anat Jpn. 2017;93(4):111-118. doi: 10.2535/ofaj.93.111.


Zhen Qi Hypoglycemic Capsules (ZQHC) is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine containing medical activities by ougi (Astragalus membranaceus) and ousei (Polygonatum rhizome). Although ZQHC has been traditionally utilized as an anti-diabetic medicine in China, there is no evidence. Therefore, this study investigated the beneficial effects of ZQHC against diabetes using streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats by biochemical and morphological methods. Eight-week old male Fisher strain rats were intraperitoneally injected with STZ (50 mg/kg of B.W.) to induce diabetes and were fed ad lib feeding with normal diet containing 4% ZQHC for 30 days. Blood and urine samples were collected for biochemical analysis, and liver and pancreas samples were prepared for morphological analysis. Values of blood glucose, AST and ALT of ZQHC oral administrated diabetic rats were lower than those of diabetic rats without administration. Morphological analysis revealed that ZQHC induced sustainment of insulin secreted β cells survival and suppression of hepatocellular fat droplet accumulation. These results suggested that oral administration of ZQHC has anti-diabetic activities those were mainly associated with improvement of liver metabolism.

Keywords: Traditional Chinese herbal medicine; insulin-dependent diabetes; liver; pancreas; streptozotocin.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astragalus propinquus*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / urine
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / ultrastructure
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Pancreas / drug effects
  • Pancreas / ultrastructure
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Polygonatum*
  • Streptozocin


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Streptozocin