Ethnopharmacology

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1. A flavonoid fraction extracted from the bark of P. marsupium was studied for the hypoglycemic activity on normal and alloxanized albino rats. The flavonoid fraction did not show a consistent effect on normal blood sugar levels but it effectively reversed the alloxan-induced changes in the blood sugar level and the beta-cell population in the pancreas. The flavonoid fraction also showed a protective effect when it was given prior to alloxan administration.

2. Glucose levels in rats with hyperglycemia induced by streptozotocin were determined after i.p. administration of marsupsin, pterosupin, and pterostilbene. Marsupsin and pterostilbene significantly lowered the blood glucose level of hyperglycemic rats, and the effect was comparable to that of metformin.

3. Protective effects of the methanolic extract of P. marsupium heartwood were evaluated on NIDDM-induced rat gastric ulceration and mucosal offensive and defensive factors. NIDDM was produced in 5-d-old rat puppies by administering streptozotocin (70 mg/kg, i.p). The animals showing blood glucose level > 140 mg/dl after 12 wk of STZ administration were considered as NIDDM positive rats. P. marsupium (750 mg/kg) decreased the blood sugar level both in normal and NIDDM rats.

4. A study investigated the influence of methanolic extract of P. marsupium and isolated 7-O-a-l-rhamnopyranosyl oxy-4'-methoxy-5-hydroxy isoflavone on a battery of cellular targets Glut-4, PPARy and PI3 kinase. The significant glucose uptake showed by P. marsupium crude and pure was comparable with insulin and rosiglitazone. Elevation of Glut-4 and PPARy gene expression in parallel with glucose uptake supported the in vitro glucose uptake activity of P. marsupium methanolic extract and isoflavone. PI3 kinase plays an important role in glucose transport and activated by Pterocarpus marsupium methanolic extract but not the isolated pure isoflavone.

5. The antidiabetic activity of various subfractions of the alcohol extract of the bark of P. marsupium was evaluated in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. The results indicated that P. marsupium can control the diabetes related metabolic alterations apart from controlling the glucose levels. Among the fractions tested the butanol subfraction was found to be more active in comparison with other subfractions.

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