Journal of diabetes

Antidiabetic activity of gossypin, a pentahydroxyflavone glucoside, in streptozotocin-induced experimental diabetes in rats.

PMID 21722326


Most of the currently available oral hypoglycemic drugs for the treatment of diabetes mellitus elicit detrimental side effects. Hence, the search for plant-derived products for the treatment of diabetes continues. Gossypin, a pentahydroxy flavone glucoside found in the flowers of Hibiscus vitifolius, has many biological properties, including as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer agent. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of gossypin in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced experimental diabetes in rats. Diabetic rats were administered 20 mg/kg per day gossypin orally for 30 days. On the 28th day, rats were subjected to an oral glucose tolerance test. In addition, blood glucose, plasma insulin, hemoglobin, and HbA1c levels were determined, as was the glycogen content of the liver and muscles. Plasma protein and blood urea were also estimated. Oral administration of gossypin to diabetic rats resulted in improved glucose tolerance. Increased blood glucose and HbA1c levels and the reduced plasma insulin and hemoglobin levels in diabetic rats were significantly reversed to near normal after oral administration of gossypin. Furthermore, the glycogen content of the liver and muscles was significantly improved after gossypin treatment of diabetic rats, and plasma protein and blood urea levels were almost normalized. The data obtained in gossypin-treated rats were comparable with those obtained following gliclazide treatment of rats, a standard reference drug for diabetes. The results of the present study indicate that gossypin has potent antidiabetic activity in STZ-induced experimental diabetes in rats.