Ocimum sanctum leaves have previously been reported to reduce blood glucose when administered to rats and humans with diabetes. In the present study, the effects of ethanol extract and five partition fractions of O. sanctum leaves were studied on insulin secretion together with an evaluation of their mechanisms of action. The ethanol extract and each of the aqueous, butanol and ethylacetate fractions stimulated insulin secretion from perfused rat pancreas, isolated rat islets and a clonal rat β-cell line in a concentration-dependent manner. The stimulatory effects of ethanol extract and each of these partition fractions were potentiated by glucose, isobutylmethylxanthine, tolbutamide and a depolarizing concentration of KCl. Inhibition of the secretory effect was observed with diazoxide, verapamil and Ca2+ removal. In contrast, the stimulatory effects of the chloroform and hexane partition fractions were associated with decreased cell viability and were unaltered by diazoxide and verapamil. The ethanol extract and the five fractions increased intracellular Ca2+ in clonal BRIN-BD11 cells, being partly attenuated by the addition of verapamil. These findings indicated that constituents of O. sanctum leaf extracts have stimulatory effects on physiological pathways of insulin secretion which may underlie its reported antidiabetic action.
J M A Hannan, L Marenah, L Ali, B Rokeya, P R Flatt and Y H A Abdel-Wahab
J M A Hannan, Lamin Marenah, Liaquat Ali, Begum Rokeya, Peter R Flatt and Yasser H Abdel-Wahab
Asparagus racemosus root has previously been reported to reduce blood glucose in rats and rabbits. In the present study, the effects of the ethanol extract and five partition fractions of the root of A. racemosus were evaluated on insulin secretion together with exploration of their mechanisms of action. The ethanol extract and each of the hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate partition fractions concentration-dependently stimulated insulin secretion in isolated perfused rat pancreas, isolated rat islet cells and clonal β-cells. The stimulatory effects of the ethanol extract, hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate partition fractions were potentiated by glucose, 3-isobutyl-1-methyl xanthine IBMX, tolbutamide and depolarizing concentration of KCl. Inhibition of A. racemosus-induced insulin release was observed with diazoxide and verapamil. Ethanol extract and five fractions increased intracellular Ca2+, consistent with the observed abolition of insulin secretory effects under Ca2+-free conditions. These findings reveal that constituents of A. racemosus root extracts have wide-ranging stimulatoryeffects on physiological insulinotropic pathways. Future work assessing the use of this plant as a source of active components may provide new opportunities for diabetes therapy.