Research: HU and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 239


HU and COLLEAGUES, (1)College of Food Science and Engineering, Ocean University of China, No. 5, Yu Shan Road, Qingdao, Shandong Province 266003, China; (2)College of Food Science and Engineering, Ocean University of China, No. 5, Yu Shan Road, Qingdao, Shandong Province 266003, China. Electronic address: studied the effects of Cucumaria frondosa (Cucumaria-PC) upon hyperglycaemia in rats and its potential clinical role in the treatment of diabetes mellitus.



Eicosapentaenoic acid-enriched phosphatidylcholine was isolated from the sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa (Cucumaria-PC) and its effects on streptozotocin (STZ)-induced hyperglycaemic rats were investigated. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into normal control, model control (STZ), low- and high-dose Cucumaria-PC groups (STZ + Cucumaria-PC at 25 and 75 mg/Kg·b·wt, intragastrically, respectively). Blood glucose, insulin, glycogen in liver and gastrocnemius were determined over 60 days.


Insulin signalling in the rats' gastrocnemius was determined by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blotting. The results showed that Cucumaria-PC significantly decreased blood glucose level, increased insulin secretion and glycogen synthesis in diabetic rats. RT-PCR analysis revealed that Cucumaria-PC significantly promoted the expressions of glycometabolism-related genes of insulin receptor (IR), insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1), phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), protein kinase B (PKB), and glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) in gastrocnemius. Western blotting assay demonstrated that Cucumaria-PC remarkably enhanced the proteins abundance of IR-β, PI3K, PKB, GLUT4, as well as phosphorylation of Tyr-IR-β, p85-PI3K, Ser473-PKB (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01).


These findings suggested that Cucumaria-PC exhibited significant anti-hyperglycemic activities through up-regulating PI3K/PKB signal pathway mediated by insulin. Nutritional supplementation with Cucumaria-PC, if validated for human studies, may offer an adjunctive therapy for diabetes mellitus.


Hu S(1), Xu L(1), Shi D(1), Wang J(2), Wang Y(1), Lou Q(1), Xue C(1). Eicosapentaenoic acid-enriched phosphatidylcholine isolated from Cucumaria frondosa exhibits anti-hyperglycemic effects via activating phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B signal pathway. J Biosci Bioeng. 117(4):457-63. Apr 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiosc.2013.09.005. Epub Oct 26 2013.  

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