Background: Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus Linn, Pundi), Chick pea (Cicer arietinum Linn,
Chana) and Prickly lettuce (Lactuca scariola Linn, Hattaraki) leaves are a few of indigenous plants
which are routinely consumed by the people of north Karnataka in the diet. Studies on these plants
showed some potential anti-diabetic efficacies.
Objectives: To examine the effect of leaves extracts of Hibiscus cannabinus Linn, Cicer arietinum Linn
and Lactuca scariola Linn on cardiovascular integrity, glucose homeostasis and oxygen sensing cell
signaling mechanisms in alloxan induced diabetic rats.
Method: In vitro and in vivo tests on glucose regulatory systems and molecular markers such as - NOS3, HIF-
1α and VEGF were conducted in alloxan induced diabetic rats supplemented with all the three plant extracts.
Electrophysiological analysis (HRV, LF: HF ratio, baroreflex sensitivity, BRS) and histopathogy of myocardial
tissues and elastic artery were evaluated in diabetic rats treated with L. scariola linn.
Results: Out of these three plant extracts, Lactuca scariola Linn supplementation showed significant
beneficial effects on glucose homeostasis and oxygen sensing cell signaling pathways in alloxaninduced
diabetic rats. Furthermore, effects of sub chronic supplementation of Lactuca scariola Linn
aqueous extracts showed significant improvement in sympatho-vagal balance in diabetic rats by increase
of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and regaining of Baroreflex Sensitivity (BRS). These results
were also corroborated with myocardial and elastic artery histopathology of Lactuca scariola Linn supplemented
Conclusion: These findings indicate an adaptive pathway for glucose homeostasis, oxygen sensing cell
signaling mechanisms and cardio protective actions in alloxan – induced diabetic rats supplemented
with Lactuca scariola Linn extracts.