METHOD: Neonatal streptozotocin-induced non-obese type 2 diabetic rats were treated with a methanolic extract of EO (250 or 500 mg/kg) for 28 days, and blood glucose, serum insulin, and plasma antioxidant status were measured. Insulin and glucagon immunostaining and morphometry were performed in pancreatic section, and liver TBARS and GSH levels were measured. Additionally, EA was tested for glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and glucose tolerance test.
RESULTS: Treatment with EO extract resulted in a significant decrease in the fasting blood glucose in a dose- and time-dependent manner in the diabetic rats. It significantly increased serum insulin in the diabetic rats in a dose-dependent manner. Insulin-to-glucose ratio was also increased by EO treatment. Immunostaining of pancreas showed that EO250 increased β-cell size, but EO500 increased β-cells number in diabetic rats. EO significantly increased plasma total antioxidants and liver GSH and decreased liver TBARS. EA stimulated glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from isolated islets and decreased glucose intolerance in diabetic rats.
CONCLUSION: Ellagic acid in EO exerts anti-diabetic activity through the action on β-cells of pancreas that stimulates insulin secretion and decreases glucose intolerance.