(−)-Epicatechin-3-O-β-D-allopyranoside from Davallia formosana prevents diabetes and dyslipidemia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects and molecular mechanism of (−)-epicatechin-3-O-β-D-allopyranoside from Davallia formosana (BB) (also known as Gu-Sui-Bu) on type 1 diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemia in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice. This plant was demonstrated to display antioxidant activities and possess polyphenol contents. Diabetic mice were randomly divided into six groups and were given daily oral gavage doses of either BB (at three dosage levels), metformin (Metf) (at 0.3 g/kg body weight), fenofibrate (Feno) (at 0.25 g/kg body weight) or vehicle (distilled water) and a group of control (CON) mice were gavaged with vehicle over a period of 4 weeks. Treatment with BB led to reduced levels of blood glucose, HbA1C, triglycerides and leptin and to increased levels of insulin and adiponectin compared with the vehicle-treated STZ group. The diabetic islets showed retraction from their classic round-shaped as compared with the control islets. The BB-treated groups (at middle and high dosages) showed improvement in islets size and number of Langerhans islet cells. The membrane levels of skeletal muscular glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) were significantly higher in BB-treated mice. This resulted in a net glucose lowering effect among BB-treated mice. Moreover, BB enhanced the expression of skeletal muscle phospho-AMPK in treated mice. BB-treated mice increased expression of fatty acid oxidation enzymes, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) and mRNA levels of carnitine palmitoyl transferase Ia (CPT1a). These mice also expressed lower levels of lipogenic genes such as fatty acid synthase (FAS), as well as lower mRNA levels of sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c (SREBP1c) and liver adipocyte fatty acid binding protein 2 (aP2). This resulted in a reduction in plasma triglyceride levels. BB-treated mice also expressed lower levels of PPARγ and FAS protein. This led to reduced adipogenesis, fatty acid synthesis and lipid accumulation within adipose tissue, and consequently, to lower triglyceride levels in liver, blood, and adipose tissue. Moreover, BB treatment not only displayed the activation Akt in liver tissue and skeletal muscle, but also in C2C12 myotube to cause an increase in phosphorylation of Akt in the absence of insulin. These results demonstrated that BB act as an activator of AMPK and /or regulation of insulin pathway (Akt), and the antioxidant activity within the pancreas. Therefore, BB treatment ameliorated the diabetic and dyslipidemic state in STZ-induced diabetic mice.