HYPOGLYCEMIC AND HYPOLIPIDEMIC EFFECTS OF ETHANOL EXTRACT OF CANSCORA
Objective: To evaluate the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of ethanol extract of Canscora perfoliata whole plant in alloxan induced diabetic rats.
Methods: Diabetes was induced in Albino rats by administration of alloxan monohydrate (150mg/kg i.p). The ethanol extracts of Canscora perfoliata whole
plant at a dose of 150 and 300 mg/kg of body weight were administrated at a single dose per day to diabetes induced rats for a period of 14 days. The effect
of ethanol extract of C. perfoliata whole plant extract on blood glucose, plasma insulin, urea, creatinine, glycosylated haemoglobin, serum lipid profile [total
cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low density lipoprotein-cholesterol(LDL-C), very low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (VLDL-C), high density lipoprotein-
cholesterol (HDL-C) and phospholipid (PL), serum protein, albumin, globulin, serum enzymes [serum glutamate pyruvate transaminases] (SGPT), and serum
glutamate oxaloacetate transaminases (SGOT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP)] were measured in the diabetic rats.
Results: In the acute toxicity study, ethanol extract of Canscora perfoliata whole plant was non-toxic at 2000 mg/kg in rats. The increased body
weight, decreased blood glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin and other biochemical parameters level was observed in diabetic rats treated with both
doses of ethanol extract of Canscora perfoliata whole plant compared to diabetic control rats. In diabetic rats, ethanol extract of Canscora perfoliata
whole plant administration, altered lipid profiles were reversed to near normal than diabetic control rats.
Conclusion: Ethanol extract of Canscora perfoliata whole plant possess significant hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activity in diabetic rats.
Keywords: Canscora perfoliata, Hypoglycemic, Hypolipidemic, Alloxan, Glibenclamide, SGOT, SGPT and HbA
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized
by high levels of glucose in the blood due to the impaired secretion
of insulin or insulin insensitivity. The high concentration of blood
glucose and other biochemical abnormalities result from a
deficiency of β-cells of the endocrine pancreas and/or form sub-
sensitivity to insulin in target cells [1-3]. DM is also associated with
an increased risk for developing premature atherosclerosis due to
independent risk factors such as hypertriglyceridemia and
hypertension. It is also characterized by polyuria, aluminuria, renal
enlargement and an increase in serum creatinine value . DM
affects apparoximately 4% of the population worldwide and is
expected to increase by 5.4% in 2025 . A worldwide survey
reported that the estimated incidence of diabetes and projection for
year 2030 is 350 million [6, 7].
Currently, the available therapy for diabetes includes insulin and
thiazolidinediones, α-glucosidase inhibitors, etc. These drugs are
used as monotherapy or in combination to achieve better glycemic
control. Each of the above oral diabetic agents with a number of
serious adverse effects . Hence, antidiabetic drug discovery has
shifted its focus to natural plant sources having minimal side effects.
Plants have played a major role in the introduction of new
therapeutic agents and have received much attention as sources of
biologically active substances including antioxidants, hypoglycemic
and hypolipidemic agents .
belongs to Gentianaceae. The juice prepared from the plant is given
to treat any poisonous bites by palliyar tribals of Grizzled Giant
Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary, Srivilliputhur, Western Ghats, Tamil
Nadu . The biological activities such as anti-inflammatory
and hepatoprotective activity  were reported.
plant on hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activities. Hence, this
study was taken up to investigate the hypoglycemic and
hypolipidemic activities of the whole plant of Canscora perfoliata in
alloxan induced diabetic rats.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The well grown whole plant of Canscora perfoliata Lam. was
collected from the natural forests of Western Ghats at Thanniparai,
Srivilliputhur, Virudhunagar District, Tamil Nadu. With the help of
local flora, voucher specimens were identified and preserved in the
Ethnopharmacology Unit, Research Department of Botany, V. O.
Chidambaram College, Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu for further references.
Preparation of plant extract for phytochemical screening and
The whole plant of C. perfoliata was shade dried at room temperature
and the dried whole plants were powdered in a Wiley mill. Hundred
grams of powdered C. perfoliata whole plant was packed in a Soxhlet
apparatus and extracted with ethanol. The extract was subjected to
qualitative test for the identification of various phytochemical
constituents as per the standard procedures [13, 14]. The ethanol
extracts were concentrated in a rotary evaporator. The concentrated
ethanol extract were used for antidiabetic studies.
Normal healthy male Wistar albino rats (180- 240g) were housed
under standard environmental conditions at temperature (25±2º C)
and light and dark (12: 12 h). Rats were fed with standard pellet diet
(Goldmohur brand, MS Hindustan lever Ltd., Mumbai, India) and
water ad libitum.
Acute oral toxicity study was performed as per OECD – 423 guidelines
(acute toxic class method), albino rats (n=6) of either sex selected by
random sampling were used for acute toxicity study . The animals
were kept fasting for overnight and provided only with water, after
which the extracts were administered orally at 5mg/kg body weight
by gastric intubations and observed for 14 days. If mortality was
observed in two out of three animals, then the dose administered was
assigned as toxic dose. If mortality was observed in one animal, then
the same dose was repeated again to confirm the toxic dose. If
mortality was not observed, the procedure was repeated for higher
doses such as 50,100 and 2000 mg/kg body weight.
International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Vol 5, Suppl 4, 2013
Induction of Diabetes in Experimental animal
Rats were induced diabetes by the administration of simple
intraperitoneal dose of alloxan monohydrate (150 mg/kg)
and hypoglycemia with blood glucose level of 200-260 mg/100 ml were
taken for the study. All animals were allowed free access to water and
pellet diet and maintained at room temperature in plastic cages.
In the present investigation, a total of 30 rats (24 diabetic surviving
rats and 6 normal rats) were taken and divided into five groups of 6
plant (150mg/kg body weight)
plant (300mg/kg body weight)
(600µg/kg body weight).
The animals were sacrificed at the end of experimental period of 14
days by decapitation. Blood was collected, sera separated by
centrifugation at 3000g for 10 minutes.
Estimation of insulin, glucose, urea, creatinine and glycosylated
Serum glucose was measured by the O-toluidine method .
Insulin level was assayed by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbant Assay
(ELISA) kit . Urea estimation was carried out by the method of
Varley ; serum creatinine was estimated by the method of Owen
et al . Glycosylated haemoglobin (HBA
C) estimation was carried
Serum protein  and serum albumin were determined by
quantitative colorimetrically method by using bromocresol green. The
total protein minus the albumin gives the globulin, serum glutamate
pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) and serum glutamate oxaloacetate
transaminase (SGOT) was measured spectrophotometrically by
utilizing the method of Reitman and Frankel . Serum alkaline
phosphatase (ALP) was measured by the method of King and
Estimation of lipids and lipoprotein
Serum total cholesterol (TC)
, total triglycerides (TG) , low
cholesterol (VLDL- C) , high density lipoprotein cholesterol
(HDL-C)  and phospholipids 
The data were analyzed using student’s t-test statistical methods.
For the statistical tests a p values of less than 0.01 and 0.05 was
taken as significant.
The phytochemical screening of ethanol extract of C. perfoliata
whole plant revealed the presence of alkaloid, catechin, coumarin,
flavonoid, phenol, saponin, steroid, tannin, terpenoid, sugar,
glycoside and xanthoprotein.
Acute toxicity study
The ethanol extract was safe upto a dose of 2000 mg/kg body
weight. Behavior of the animals was clearly observed for the first 8
hours then at an interval of every 4 hours during the next 48 hours,
the extract did not cause mortality on rats during 48 hours
observation or any behavioral change.
In the present study, alloxan induced diabetic rats showed
significant (p<0.05) reduction in body weight (Table-1). The
administration of C. perfoliata and glibenclamide to diabetic rats
restored the changes in the levels of body weight. Table-1 shows the
dose dependent antihyperglycemic activity of C. perfoliata extracts.
The FBG levels of diabetic rats were significantly (p<0.001) higher
than those of normal control rats. When different doses of C.
extract at a dosage of 300 mg/kg body weight produced the
maximum fall in the FBG levels of diabetic rats after 2 weeks of
) / Loss(L
Fasting Blood Glucose (mg/dl)
Final (after 2 wks)
ns – Not significant a – p < 0.05 Diabetic Control vs Drug treated; b - p<0.05 comparison with initial vs final
Each Value is SEM of 5 animals: * P < 0.05; ***P <0.001. Comparison made between Normal Control and Diabetic Control and Drug treated groups.
- P<0.01- Comparison made between Diabetic Control and Drug treated groups.
Blood glucose and the other parameters levels of diabetic rats
Table-2 shows the levels of blood glucose, serum insulin, urea,
creatinine and glycosylated haemoglobin of normal, diabetic control
and drug treated rats. There was a significant (p<0.001) increase in
blood glucose level in alloxan induced diabetic rats (Group-II) when
compared with normal rats (Group-I). The administration of whole
plant extract of C. perfoliata (Group-III and IV) and glibenclamide
(Group-V) tends to bring the parameters (p<0.05) towards the normal.
Serum insulin level of diabetic control group was significantly
(p<0.001) decreased when compared to normal control group
(Group-I). The plant extract and glibenclamide group of diabetic rats
significantly (p<0.05; p<0.01) increased insulin. A significantly
elevation in urea and creatinine was observed in alloxan induced
diabetic rats when compared to control rats. The C. perfoliata
extracts were administered orally to diabetic rats for 14 days
reversed the urea and creatinine level to near normal. The C.
perfoliata whole plant and glibenclamide (p<0.05; p<0.001) reduced
The decreased total protein, albumin and globulin levels were noticed
in diabetic control rats (Group-II) (Table-3). The administration of C.
perfoliata whole plant extract 150 and 300 mg/kg and glibenclamide
significant (p<0.05) increased total protein, albumin and globulin
levels compared to diabetic control rats. Also, the SGPT, SGOT and ALP
levels were elevated in alloxan induced diabetic rats compared to
control rats. Oral administration of C. perfoliata whole plant extract
300 mg/kg and glibenclamide treatment reduced above parameters
compare to diabetic control rats.
Table 3: Effect of ethanol extracts of Canscora perfoliata on the Serum protein, Albumin, Globulin, SGOT, SGPT and ALP levels of Normal,
Diabetic induced and diabetic treated rats.
Each value is SEM of 5 animals. * P<0.05. Comparison made between Normal Control and Diabetic Control and Drug treated groups.
P < 0.05: -
Each Value is SEM of 5 animals: *P < 0.05; **P<0.01Comparison made between Normal Control and Diabetic Control and Drug treated groups.
P<0.01) - Comparison made between diabetic control and drug treated groups.
Table-4 shows the levels of TC, TG, LDL-C, VLDL-C, HDL-C and PL in
the serum of diabetic rats showed significantly (p<0.05) increased
serum lipid profiles except HDL-C when compared with normal rats.
The ethanol extract of C. perfoliata whole plant treated rats showed
a significant (p<0.05) decrease in the content of lipid profiles when
compared with diabetic induced rats. Similarly HDL-C level
decreased in alloxan induced diabetic rats when compared with
normal rats. The administration of ethanol extract of C. perfoliata
whole plant and glibenclamide to the diabetic rats, HDL-C level
found to be restored to normal.
Diabetes mellitus is one of the common metabolic disorders with
micro and macro vascular complications that results in significant
morbidity and mortality. In the treatment of diabetes mellitus, non
pharmacologic measures remain a critical component of therapy.
The purpose of choosing alloxan monohydrate as the diabetes-
inducing agent was known to produce diabetes mellitus irreversibly
with a single dose administration by relative necrotic action on the
beta cells of pancreas leading to insulin deficiency. Insulin deficiency
leads to various metabolic aberrations in animals viz., increased
blood pressure level, decreased protein content, increased level of
cholesterol and triglycerides were reported .
Dietary management includes the use of traditional medicines that
are mainly derived from plants . Even now, approximately 80%
of the third world population is almost entirely dependent on
traditional medicines. There are numerous traditional medicinal
plants reported to have hypoglycemic properties [32-34].
The present study indicates the hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic
potential of C. perfoliata whole plant ethanol extract on alloxan
induced diabetic rats. In the present study, induction of diabetes by
alloxan, decreased the body weight. In diabetic rats, observed
reduction in body weight was possible due to catabolism of fats and
proteins . The administration of ethanol extract of C. perfoliata
whole plant improves the body weight compared to diabetic control
rats which indicates preventive effect of C. perfoliata whole plant
extract on degradation of structural proteins. Ethanol extract of C.
a dose of 300 mg/kg.
Administration of alloxan led to more than 1.5 fold elevation of
fasting glucose level which was maintained over a period of two
weeks. Two weeks of daily treatment of C. perfoliata whole plant
extract (300 mg/kg) make fall in blood glucose level by 43.2%. The
present findings indicate the hypoglycemic and potential
antihyperglycemic nature of the extract.
weight) significantly (p<0.05) decreased blood glucose level in
alloxan induced diabetic rats. Similarly, ethanol extract of leaves of
Dalbergia sisoo (250 mg/kg) showed reduction in blood glucose
level was reported . Similar antidiabetic activity was seen in the
ethanol extract of leaves of Eugenia singampattiana . There were
two possible explanations for this finding. First, C. perfoliata whole
plant may exert its effect by preventing the death of β-cells and/or
second, it may permit recovery of partially destroyed β-cells. Like
cell proliferation. Hypoglycemic effects have been reported with
other plants such as Pithecolobium dulce , Aloe vera ,
Sphaeranthus indicus , Wattakaka volubilis  and Polygala
In diabetes, elevated levels of serum urea and creatinine are
observed which may be due to renal damage caused by abnormal
glucose regulation or elevate glucose and glycosylated protein tissue
levels . In the present study, significant increase in serum urea
and creatinine levels was observed in diabetic rats. The treatment
with ethanol extract of C. perfoliata whole plant decreased the above
parameters significantly (p<0.05) compared to diabetic control rats
and it showed protective effect of ethanol extract of C. perfoliata
whole plant on the kidneys.
C is used as a marker for estimating the degree of protein
C was found to increase in
directly proportional to the fasting blood glucose level. In diabetic
condition, the excess glucose present in the blood reacts with
haemoglobin to form HbA
C levels were elevated.
C levels were well regulated near to normal levels in C.
due to an improvement in insulin secretion upon C. perfoliata
In diabetic condition, occurrence of reduction in protein and
albumin may be due to proteinuria, albuminuria or increased
protein catabolism which is clinical markers in diabetic nephropathy
. The protein and albumin level were reduced after the induction
of diabetes and treatment of ethanol extract of C. perfoliata whole
plant increased both levels considerably in diabetic rats towards
normal level. This action possibly is through increase in the insulin
mediated amino acid uptake, enhancement of protein synthesis
and/or inhibition of protein degradation . Also, increased serum
GOT, GPT and ALP levels were reported in diabetes and it may be
due to liver dysfunction . Many workers have reported increase
in transaminase activity in liver and serum of diabetics. The increase
level of transaminase which is active in the absence of insulin
because of availability of amino acid in the blood of diabetics is
responsible for the increased gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis
observed in diabetics. In this study, increased levels of SGOT, SGPT
and ALP was observed in alloxan induced diabetic rats which may
have occurred by leakage of enzymes from the liver cytosol into the
blood stream. It represents the toxicity of alloxan on liver. Diabetic
rats treated with ethanol extract of C. perfoliata whole plant
significantly reduced enzyme level which represents the protective
action of ethanol extract of C. perfoliata whole plant on liver in
The most common lipid abnormalities in diabetes are
hypertriglyceridemia and hypercholesterolemia . The abnormal
high concentrations of serum lipids in diabetic animals are mainly
due to an increased mobilization of free fatty acids from peripheral
. In the present study, significantly increased levels of
HDL level were observed in diabetic rats. Administration of both the
doses of ethanol extract of C. perfoliata whole plant decreased levels
of TC, LDL, VLDL and TG levels as well as increased the level of HDL
in diabetic rats. The above action could be beneficial in preventing
diabetic complications like coronary heart diseases and
atherosclerosis in diabetic condition. Increased phospholipids level
in serum was reported by Anitha et al.,  in alloxan induced
diabetic rats. Administration of ethanol extract of C. perfoliata whole
plant and glibenclamide decreased the levels of phospholipids.
The present study demonstrated that the ethanol extract of C.
perfoliata whole plant could be useful in management of diabetes
associated with abnormalities in lipid profiles. Further study need to
be isolated, identified the active compounds and formulation.
The authors are thankful to Dr.R.Sampathraj, Honorary Director, Dr.
Samsun Clinical Research Laboratory, Tirupur, for providing
necessary facilities to carry out this work. The second author, V.R.
Mohan gratefully acknowledges and expresses his sincere thanks to
University Grants Commission, New Delhi for providing financial
assistance (Major Research Project: F39-429/2011 (HRP) dated 7
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