Author(s): van de Venter M, Roux S, Bungu LC, Louw J, Crouch NR,
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Abstract AIM: To investigate the traditional antidiabetic uses of indigenous or naturalised South African plants using an optimised screening and scoring method. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eleven plant species were screened against Chang liver, 3T3-L1 adipose and C2C12 muscle cells measuring glucose utilisation in all three cell lines and toxicity in the hepatocytes and adipocytes only. A scoring system was devised to aid interpretation of results. RESULTS: Catharanthus roseus results correlated with previously reported in vivo results, with best stimulation of glucose utilisation in hepatocytes. Momordica foetida and Momordica balsamina extracts were active in myocytes but only the latter stimulated glucose utilisation in hepatocytes. Brachylaena discolor gave the best overall results, with all plant parts giving high activity scores and negligible toxicity. In vitro toxicity results for Catharanthus roseus, Vinca major, Momordica balsamina and some Sclerocarya birrea extracts raise concern for chronic use. CONCLUSION: This screening system increases the likelihood of identifying drug candidates using in vitro antidiabetic screening of crude plant extracts, whilst the scoring system aids data interpretation. ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: The multitude of metabolic steps affected by Type II diabetes offer many drug targets but they complicate in vitro screening to validate traditional uses or find new drug leads from plants.
This article was published in J Ethnopharmacol
and referenced in Alternative & Integrative Medicine