Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate the antidiabetic effect of Scorzonera undulata.
Background: Scorzonera undulata ssp deliciosa, locally known as “Guiz”, is used as a phytomedicine
in Morocco and Algeria to treat different health problems. Interestingly, it is used in the
Moroccan pharmacopeia to treat diabetes. To our knowledge, this medicinal herb has never been
investigated for any pharmacological activity.
Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the antihyperglycemic effect of the aqueous extract of the
aerial part of Scorzonera undulata (SUAP) in normal and STZ-induced diabetic rats and to assess
the acute toxicity of this extract in Wistar rats.
Methods: This study investigated the effects of SUAP at a dose of 20 mg/kg on blood glucose levels
in normal and streptozotocin(STZ)-induced diabetic rats. The acute toxicity of SUAP was
examined according to the OECD test guideline; rats were divided into four groups of each sex and
orally received the SUAP (1000, 2000, or 3000 mg/kg BW). Post-treatment, body weight, signs of
toxicity, and/or mortality were observed during 14 days. Other assays such as histopathological
examination, preliminary phytochemical investigation, determination of glycogen content and evaluation
of α-amylase were performed according to standard protocols.
Results: The findings of the current study depicted that both single and repeated oral administration
of SUAP (20 mg/kg) generated a significant fall in the blood glucose levels in diabetic rats. A
single oral administration of SUAP (at the highest dose of 3000 mg/kg BW) had no significant
acute toxicological effects, and oral LD50 of SUAP was greater than 3000 mg/kg. Furthermore,
repeated oral administration of SUAP during 15 days led to an increase in the liver glycogen content
in diabetic rats to improve the histopathological structure of the liver and pancreas in SUAPtreated
diabetic rats and to ameliorate some biochemical parameters such as ALT and creatinine.
SUAP had no effect on α-amylase activity. In addition, the preliminary phytochemical investigation
showed the richness of the roots of SUAP in some phytochemicals, particularly the polyphenols.
Conclusion: The present study demonstrates the antihyperglycemic effect of Scorzonera undulata
in diabetic rats which could be involved through the improvement of liver structure and function.
In addition, the dose used is not toxic. Finally, the extract contains large amounts of bioactive compounds,