Mulberry leaf extract displays antidiabetic activity in db/db mice via Akt and AMP-activated protein kinase phosphorylation
Background: Augmenting glucose utilization in skeletal muscle via the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3
kinase)/protein kinase B (Akt) pathway or the adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase
(AMPK) pathway is necessary to regulate hyperglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Objective: We investigated the effect of mulberry leaf extract (MLE) on glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells
and explored its in vivo antidiabetic potential.
Design: Male db/db mice were treated with either MLE (50 mg/kg, 100 mg/kg, and 250 mg/kg) or metformin
(100 mg/kg) for 8 weeks.
Results: MLE treatment stimulated glucose uptake, driven by enhanced translocation of glucose transporter
4 to cell membranes in L6 myotubes. These effects of MLE were synergistic with those of insulin and were
abolished in the presence of PI3K inhibitor or AMPK inhibitor. In db/db mice, supplementation with MLE
decreased fasting blood glucose and insulin levels and enhanced insulin sensitivity, with increases of p-Akt
and p-AMPK in skeletal muscle. Moreover, MLE improved blood lipid parameters and attenuated hepatic
steatosis in diabetic db/db mice.
Discussion: These findings suggest that MLE exerts antidiabetic activity through stimulating glucose disposal
in skeletal muscle cells via the PI3K/Akt and AMPK pathways.
Conclusions: MLE can potentially improve hyperglycemia and hepatic steatosis in patients with type 2 diabetes.
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