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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 167684, 9 pages
Original Article

Antidiabetic Activities of Abutilon indicum (L.) Sweet Are Mediated by Enhancement of Adipocyte Differentiation and Activation of the GLUT1 Promoter

1Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, 2407 River Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
2Department of Physiology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
3Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Received 20 August 2009; Accepted 1 January 2010

Copyright © 2011 Chutwadee Krisanapun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Abutilon indicum (L.) Sweet is an Asian phytomedicine traditionally used to treat several disorders, including diabetes mellitus. However, molecular mechanisms supporting the antidiabetic effect of A. indicum L. remain unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether extract of A. indicum L. improves insulin sensitivity. First, we observed the antidiabetic activity of aqueous extract of the entire plant (leaves, twigs and roots) of A. indicum L. on postprandial plasma glucose in diabetic rats. The subsequent experiments revealed that butanol fractions of the extract bind to PPARγ and activate 3T3-L1 differentiation. To measure glucose uptake enhanced by insulin-like activity, we used rat diaphragm incubated with various concentrations of the crude extract and found that the extract enhances glucose consumption in the incubated solution. Our data also indicate that the crude extract and the fractions (water and butanol) did not affect the activity of kinases involved in Akt and GSK-3β pathways; however, the reporter assay showed that the crude extract could activate glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) promoter activity. These results suggest that the extract from A. indicum L. may be beneficial for reducing insulin resistance through its potency in regulating adipocyte differentiation through PPARγ agonist activity, and increasing glucose utilization via GLUT1.