Original Research

Glucose transporter 4 translocation and glucose uptake by selected traditional medicinal preparations

Phillipine K. Moale, Mildred A. Chauke, Matlou P. Mokgotho, Leshweni J. Shai
Journal of Medicinal Plants for Economic Development | Vol 8, No 1 | a236 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jomped.v8i1.236 | © 2024 Phillipine K. Moale, Mildred A. Chauke, Matlou P. Mokgotho, Leshweni J. Shai | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 October 2023 | Published: 08 February 2024

About the author(s)

Phillipine K. Moale, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Mildred A. Chauke, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Matlou P. Mokgotho, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa
Leshweni J. Shai, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Herbal therapies are used as alternatives to modern treatment regimens and may help alleviate side effects associated with hypoglycaemic agents in the market. In addition, majority of the South African populace still relies on medicinal plant preparations for treatment of various diseases.

Aim: This study was aimed at screening 13 traditional medicinal plants (HR1-HR13) used for treatment of diabetes, bought from traditional healers in Gauteng, South Africa.

Setting: The traditional medicinal preparations were evaluated for their anti-diabetic mechanisms of action on C2C12 skeletal muscle cells and presence of active phytochemical constituents.

Methods: Phytochemical screening was performed using both qualitative (thin layer chromatography [TLC]) and quantitative assays. Furthermore, we determined the glucose uptake, glucose transporter 4 translocation, protein kinase B phosphorylation and expression of insulin receptor substrate 1.

Results: There was presence of phytochemical constituents, mostly phenolic contents. The study revealed upregulation of glucose uptake by the cells, and furthermore, HR2 and HR13 improved GLUT 4 translocation at 1.25 mg/mL as compared to the negative control. Similarly, Insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1) expression and Akt phosphorylation significantly (p < 0.05) increased in comparison to the untreated controls cells.

Conclusion: The results are suggestive of the possible involvement of PI3K/Akt Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway in lowering glucose by the medicinal plant preparations.

Contribution: The results support use of the medicinal plant preparations by traditional healers for treatment or management of diabetes mellitus.


Keywords

medicinal preparations; phytochemicals; glucose uptake; GLUT 4; diabetes; herbalists.

JEL Codes

J22: Time Allocation and Labor Supply; J58: Public Policy; K22: Business and Securities Law

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

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