Indexed on: 12 Jun '14Published on: 12 Jun '14Published in: International journal of molecular sciences
Inflammation and oxidative stress play crucial roles in the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus. In this study, we examined the anti-diabetic effects of triterpenoid saponins extracted from Stauntonia chinensis on stimulating glucose uptake by insulin-resistant human HepG2 cells. The results showed that saponin 6 significantly increased glucose uptake and glucose catabolism. Saponin 6 also enhanced the phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and activated the insulin receptor (IR)/insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1)/phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway. Therefore, our results suggest that saponins from S. chinensis improve glucose uptake and catabolism in hepatic cells by stimulating the AMPK and the IR/IRS-1/PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. The results also imply that saponins from S. chinensis can enhance glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity, representing a promising treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus.