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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 46  |  Page : 175-180

Minimization of the risk of diabetic microangiopathy in rats by Nigella sativa


1 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
2 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
3 Department of Research and Development Center for Livestock Production Technology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Correspondence Address:
Juraiporn Somboonwong
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Thailand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1296.182169

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Background: Microangiopathy is a chronic diabetic complication resulting from metabolic derangements, oxidative stress, and increased pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Nigella sativa Linn. is used as an herbal medicine that exerts hypoglycemic, antilipidemic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects. Objective: To examine the effects of N. sativa extract on cutaneous microvascular changes in diabetic rats. Materials and Methods: Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned into the following four groups: Untreated and N. sativa-treated normal controls and untreated and N. sativa-treated rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. A cold-pressed N. sativa extract was then orally administered (1000 mg/kg/day). After 8 weeks of treatment, the glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), insulin levels, and lipid profile were determined in cardiac blood. Dermal capillary wall thickness was measured in tail skin sections stained with periodic acid-Schiff. Endothelial apoptosis was morphologically evaluated by hematoxylin and eosin staining. Results: Diabetes significantly reduced the circulating insulin and low-density lipoprotein levels and caused elevations in the glucose, HbA1c, and triglyceride levels, accompanied by a slight increase in total cholesterol levels and no change in the high-density lipoprotein and TNF-α levels. Capillary basement membrane thickening and a decreased capillary luminal diameter despite no evidence of endothelial cell apoptosis were also observed. N. sativa treatment of diabetic rats reduced the mean HbA1cconcentration by 1.4%, enlarged the capillary lumens, and tended to attenuate dermal capillary basement membrane thickening without affecting the lipid profile or TNF-α level. Conclusion: Our results indicate that N. sativa may be used to minimize the risk of diabetic microangiopathy, potentially due in part to its glycemic control activity. SUMMARY
  • Diabetes causes dermal capillary basement membrane thickening and a decreased capillary luminal diameter
  • Nigella sativa treatment of diabetic rats enlarged the capillary lumens and tended to attenuate dermal capillary basement membrane thickening
  • N. sativa treatment of diabetic rats reduced the mean glycosylated hemoglobin concentration by 1.4%, which exceeds the necessary reduction previously described to decrease the risk of diabetic microangiopathy, without affecting the lipid profile or tumor necrosis factor-alpha level
  • N. sativa improves rat diabetic microangiopathy, potentially due in part to its glycemic control activity.
Abbreviations used: H and E: Hematoxylin and eosin, HbA1c: Glycosylated hemoglobin, HDL-C: High-density lipoprotein cholesterol, LDL-C: Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, PAS: Periodic acid-Schiff, STZ: Streptozotocin, TNF-α: Tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Juraiporn Somboonwong


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