Beneficial effects and mechanism of action of Momordica charantia juice in the treatment of streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus in rat

I. Ahmed, E. Adeghate, E. Cummings, A. K. Sharma, J. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the beneficial effects and mechanism of action of the juice of Momordica charantia in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes mellitus in rats. Diabetes mellitus was associated with significant (p<0.01) time course reductions in body weight, plasma insulin and the number of insulin positive cells per islet and significant (p<0.01) time course elevation in blood glucose and osmolarity and systolic blood pressure compared to age-matched healthy controls. Oral intake of M. charantia juice by STZ-induced diabetic rats partially reversed all the diabetes-induced effects measured. Daily oral administration of M. charantia juice to STZ-induced diabetic rates significantly (p<0.01) reduced the Na+- and K+ -dependent absorptions of glucose by the brush border membrane vesicles of the jejunum compared to the responses obtained in STZ-induced diabetic rat. Either insulin (100 MM) or the fruit juice lyophilised extract (5 μg · ml-1) can stimulate 14C-D-glucose uptake in L6 myotubes. These effects were completely blocked by wortmannin, an inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. High concentrations (10-200 μg · ml-1) of M. charantia juice extract inhibited 14C-D-glucose uptake in L6 myotubes compared to the control response. The effect of M. charantia treatment was also investigated on myelinated fibre abnormalities in the tibial nerve of STZ-induced diabetic and control rats. The results show that diabetes was associated with significant (p<0.05) reduction in the mean cross-sectional myelinated nerve fibres, axonal area, myelin area and maximal fibre area compared to end controls. Treatment of STZ-induced diabetic rats with M. charantia juice normalised the structural abnormalities of peripheral nerves. The results indicate that M. charantia can exert marked beneficial effects in diabetic rats, and moreover, it can regulate glucose uptake into jejunum membrane brush border vesicles and stimulate glucose uptake into skeletal muscle cells similar to the response obtained with insulin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and cellular biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


  • Blood pressure
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Glucose
  • Insulin
  • L6 myotubes
  • Momordica charantia
  • Rats
  • Streptozotocin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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