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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 683561, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/neq031
Original Article

Scorpion in Combination with Gypsum: Novel Antidiabetic Activities in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Mice by Up-Regulating Pancreatic PPARγ and PDX-1 Expressions

1Life Science Division, Graduate School at Shenzhen, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen 518055, China
2Laboratory of Pathological Sciences, Basic Medical College, Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210029, China
3Institute of Disease Control and Prevention, Shenzhen International Travel Health Care Center, Shenzhen Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, Shenzhen 518045, China
4Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Received 31 October 2009; Accepted 15 March 2010

Copyright © 2011 Weidong Xie 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.

Abstract

The management of diabetes without any side effects remains a challenge in medicine. In this study, antidiabetic activity and the mechanism of action of scorpion combined with gypsum (SG) were investigated. Streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice were orally administrated with scorpion (200 mg kg−1 per day) in combination with gypsum (200 mg kg−1 per day) for 5 weeks. SG treatment resulted in decreased body weight, blood glucose and lipid levels, and increased serum and pancreatic insulin levels in diabetic mice. Furthermore, SG significantly increased the number and volume of beta cells in the Islets of Langerhans and promoted peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and pancreatic duodenal homeobox 1 expressions in pancreatic tissues. However, scorpion or gypsum alone had no significant effect in this animal model. Metformin showed a slight or moderate effect in this diabetic model, but this effect was weak compared with that of SG. Taken together, SG showed a new antidiabetic effect in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. This effect may possibly be involved in enhancing beta-cell regeneration and promoting insulin secretion by targeting PPARγ and PDX-1. Moreover, this new effect of SG offers a promising step toward the treatment of diabetic patients with beta-cell failure as a complementary and alternative medicine.