The brown seaweed Undaria pinnatifida polysaccharides show various biological activities, but their hypoglycemic activity and the underlying mechanism remain unclear. Here, three fractions of sulfated polysaccharides Up-3, Up-4, and Up-5 were prepared by microwave-assisted extraction from U. pinnatifida. In vitro assays demonstrated that Up-3 and Up-4 had strong α-glucosidase inhibitory activity, and Up-3, Up-4, and Up-5 could improve the glucose uptake in insulin-resistant HepG2 cells without affecting their viability. In vivo studies indicated Up-3 and Up-4 markedly reduced postprandial blood glucose levels. Up-U (a mixture of Up-3, Up-4, and Up-5), reduced fasting blood glucose levels, increased glucose tolerance and alleviated insulin resistance in HFD/STZ-induced hyperglycemic mice. Histopathological observation and hepatic glycogen measurement showed that Up-U alleviated the damage of the pancreas islet cell, reduced hepatic steatosis, and promoted hepatic glycogen synthesis. These findings suggest that Up-U could alleviate postprandial and HFD/STZ-induced hyperglycemia and was a potential agent for diabetes treatment.
Keywords: Diabetes; Hypoglycemic effects; Undaria pinnatifida polysaccharides; α-Glucosidase.
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