Aim: The current study was carried out in order to assess the antihyperglycemic effect of
Scorzonera undulata (S. undulata).
Backgroud: Scorzonera undulata subsp. deliciosa (DC.) Maire is used in the Moroccan pharmacopeia
for managing diabetes.
Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the anithyperglycemic activity in normal and
streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats as well as the acute toxicity of the aqueous extract of the
roots of Scorzonera undulata (S. undulata).
Methods: This study investigated the effects of the root aqueous extract of Scorzonera undulata
(AERSU) at a dose of 20 mg/kg on blood glucose levels in normal and streptozotocin(STZ)-induced
diabetic rats and the acute toxicity of AERSU was examined. Histopathological examination, preliminary
phytochemical investigation, determination of glycogen content and evaluation of α-amylase were
Results: Both single and repeated oral doses of AERSU (20 mg/kg) produced a significant reduction in
blood glucose levels in normal and diabetic rats. Furthermore, repeated oral administration of AERSU
during 15 days increased the glycogen content in the liver in both normal and diabetic rats, inhibited α-
amylase activity and improved the histological architecture of the liver and pancreas in treated diabetic
rats and ameliorated some biochemical parameters such as ALT and AST. In addition, the preliminary
phytochemical investigation showed the richness of the roots of S. undulata in certain phytochemicals
particularly in polyphenols.
Conclusion: AERSU exhibits an evident antihyperglycemic activity. This pharmacological effect may
be due to the protection of surviving pancreatic β cells and hepatocytes, effect of α-amylase and the
improvement of glycogen storage in the liver. The dose used in this study seems to be free of any toxicity.
Keywords: Scorzonera undulata, hypoglycemic, diabetes, toxicity, α-amylase, glycogen, streptozotocin, medicinal plant.
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