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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2012, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (8): 939-947.doi: 10.3736/jcim20120816

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Clitorea ternatea, a herb from Indian folklore, improves streptozotocin-induced diabetes and diabetes-induced cognitive decline in rats

Karuna A. Talpate1, Uma A. Bhosale2(), Mandar R. Zambare1   

  1. 1. Department of Pharmacology, Sinhgad College of Pharmacy, Vadgaon, Pune 411041, Maharashtra, India
    2. Department of Pharmacology, Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College and General Hospital, Narhe, Pune 411041, Maharashtra, India
  • Received:2012-02-08 Accepted:2012-02-27 Online:2012-08-20 Published:2018-08-15
  • Contact: A. Bhosale Uma

Objective: To study the antidiabetic, neurochemical-antioxidant and cognition protective effects of Clitorea ternatea leaves on a rat model of diabetic cognitive decline.

Methods: Antidiabetic activity was evaluated by serum glucose and body weight estimation in ethanol extract of Clitorea ternatea (EECT)-treated diabetic rats. Effects of EECT on spatial working memory (SWM) and spatial reference memory (SRM) were evaluated by Y-maze and Morris water maze tests respectively. Neurochemical-antioxidant effects of EECT were studied by acetylcholinesterase assay, and measurements of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARSs), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) levels in diabetic rats.

Results: : The 200 and 400 mg/kg of EECT showed a significant antidiabetic activity by decreasing serum glucose level (P<0.05, P<0.01), and there was a significant increase in the body weight in 400 mg/kg of EECT-treated diabetic rats (P<0.01). EECT was found to cause significant increases in SWM and SRM in retention trials on Y-maze and Morris water maze respectively (P<0.05, P<0.01). Significant decreases in acetylcholinesterase activity and TBARS level, and significant increase in CAT level were observed in rats treated with 200 and 400 mg/kg of EECT compared with rats in the diabetic control group (P<0.05 or P<0.01). Significant increase was also found in SOD in rats treated with 400 mg/kg of EECT.

Conclusion: Clitorea ternatea exhibits antidiabetic and antioxidant activities, offers the protection against diabetes-induced cognitive decline, and warrants the need for further studies to elucidate its mode of action.

Key words: diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemic agents, plants, medicinal, neurobehavioral manifestations, rats, Sprague-Dawley


Group n Serum glucose level (mg/dL)
Normal control 6 94.20±6.96
Diabetic control 6 280.60±18.11**
EECT (200 mg/kg) 6 153.60±22.59
EECT (400 mg/kg) 6 125.20±19.26△△
Metformin (200 mg/kg) 6 80.88±7.53△△
Piracetam (200 mg/kg) 6 248.50±14.59


Group n Body weight (g)
Normal control 6 206.00±6.78
Diabetic control 6 150.00±7.07**
EECT (200 mg/kg) 6 164.00±9.27
EECT (400 mg/kg) 6 207.00±11.58△△
Metformin (200 mg/kg) 6 204.00±5.09△△
Piracetam (200 mg/kg) 6 160.00±8.94


Group n Acetylcholinesteras
(μmol/(L·min·g) of tissue)
Normal control 6 3.67±0.47
Diabetic control 6 6.36±0.30**
EECT (200 mg/kg) 6 5.45±0.25
EECT (400 mg/kg) 6 4.07±0.42△△
Metformin (200 mg/kg) 6 6.65±0.44
Piracetam (200 mg/kg) 6 3.15±0.20△△


Group n TBARS (MDA nmol/mg of protein) SOD (μg/mg of protein) CAT (μg/mg of protein)
Normal control 6 23.83±0.57 108.40±0.37 4.33±0.05
Diabetic control 6 52.70±2.36** 47.85±2.98** 2.19±0.26**
EECT (200 mg/kg) 6 35.50±2.09△△ 52.35±7.48 3.87±0.65
EECT (400 mg/kg) 6 25.14±0.27△△ 86.61±1.09△△ 3.46±0.28△△
Metformin (200 mg/kg) 6 39.88±0.38△△ 83.99±1.05△△ 3.72±0.05△△
Piracetam (200 mg/kg) 6 25.80±0.32△△ 61.37±0.50△△ 2.64±0.34


Group n Spontaneous alternations (%)
Normal control 6 50.40±10.50
Diabetic control 6 34.27±2.52*
EECT (200 mg/kg) 6 52.50±5.83
EECT (400 mg/kg) 6 58.98±6.77
Metformin (200 mg/kg) 6 56.24±9.10
Piracetam (200 mg/kg) 6 61.76±1.57△△


Group n Transfer latency (s)
Normal control 6 54.2±4.54
Diabetic control 6 77.8±1.42**
EECT (200 mg/kg) 6 63.2±6.00
EECT (400 mg/kg) 6 56.4±1.28△△
Metformin (200 mg/kg) 6 68.8±3.83
Piracetam (200 mg/kg) 6 52.6±2.65△△
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