Carica papaya Reduces Muscle Insulin Resistance via IR/GLUT4 Mediated Signaling Mechanisms in High Fat Diet and Streptozotocin-Induced Type-2 Diabetic Rats

Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Oct 21;11(10):2081. doi: 10.3390/antiox11102081.


In the management of type 2 diabetes, oral antidiabetic drugs have several side effects, which in turn have led the pharmaceutical industry to search for good therapeutic, non-toxic and reliable drugs. Carica papaya (C. papaya) is one of several plants in nature that have been found to possess anti-diabetic properties. Despite studies being focused on the antidiabetic activity of C. papaya, the molecular mechanism against high fat diet induced insulin resistance is yet to be identified. The role of C. papaya was evaluated on insulin signaling molecules, such as the insulin receptor (IR) and glucose transporter-4 (GLUT4) in high fat, diet-streptozotocin induced type 2 diabetic rats, and analyzed the bioactive compounds of C. papaya against IR and GLUT4 via molecular docking and dynamics. The ethanolic extract of C. papaya leaves (600 mg/kg of body weight) was given daily to male wistar rats for 45 days and we observed the various biochemical parameters, gene expression analysis and histopathology of skeletal muscle. Molecular docking and dynamics were undertaken to understand the bioactive compounds with the greatest hit rate. C. papaya treatment was able to control blood glucose levels, the lipid profile and serum insulin, but it facilitated tissue antioxidant enzymes and IR and GLUT4 levels. The in-silico study showed that kaempferol, quercitin and transferulic acid were the top three ligands with the greatest hit rate against the protein targets. Our preliminary findings, for the first time, showed that C. papaya reinstates the glycemic effect in the diabetic skeletal muscle by accelerating the expression of IR and GLUT4.

Keywords: Carica papaya; diabetes mellitus; glucose transporter 4; insulin receptor; insulin resistance; molecular dynamics; skeletal muscle; therapeutic implications.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.