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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 692378, 9 pages
Research Article

Characterization of the Antidiabetic Role of Parkinsonia aculeata (Caesalpineaceae)

1Departamento de Bioquímica, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Cidade Universitária, 50670-901, Recife, PE, Brazil
2Departamento de Fisiologia e Farmacologia, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, PE, Brazil

Received 16 April 2010; Revised 25 June 2010; Accepted 7 August 2010

Copyright © 2011 Ana Catarina Rezende Leite 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.


This paper reports the characterization of the antidiabetic role of a hydroethanolic extract from Parkinsonia aerial parts (HEPA), in normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rats, treated with HEPA (125 and 250 mg/kg; p.o.). Oral glucose tolerance test, acute oral toxicity test and preliminary phytochemical analyses were performed. The diabetic rats treated with HEPA showed a significant reduction in serum and urinary glucose, urinary urea and triglyceride levels, as compared to the diabetic untreated group. However, in the normal treated groups, a significant reduction was found only in serum triglyceride levels. In all treated diabetic groups, an improvement in hepatic glycogen was observed, as well as a decrease in liquid intake and urinary volume, and an enhancement in the weight of skeletal muscles (soleus and extensor digitorum longus), kidneys and epididymal adipose tissue. Nevertheless, body and liver weights were ameliorated only in the diabetic group treated with HEPA (250 mg/kg). Moreover, oral glucose tolerance was higher in animals treated with HEPA, while results also showed that HEPA could be considered toxicologically safe. Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of tanins, flavonoids and steroids in HEPA. In conclusion, P. aculeata presents an antidiabetic activity and other beneficial effects that ameliorate diabetes and associated complications.