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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 787138, 8 pages
Research Article

Scopoletin Inhibits Rat Aldose Reductase Activity and Cataractogenesis in Galactose-Fed Rats

Korean Medicine Based Herbal Drug Development Group, Herbal Medicine Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine (KIOM), 1672 Yuseongdaero, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea

Received 15 February 2013; Revised 13 August 2013; Accepted 13 August 2013

Academic Editor: Ravirajsinh Jadeja

Copyright © 2013 Junghyun Kim 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.


Cataracts are a major cause of human blindness. Aldose reductase (AR) is an important rate-limiting enzyme that contributes to cataract induction in diabetic patients. Scopoletin is the main bioactive constituent of flower buds from Magnolia fargesii and is known to inhibit AR activity. To assess scopoletin’s ability to mitigate sugar cataract formation in vivo, we studied its effects in a rat model of dietary galactose-induced sugar cataracts. Galactose-fed rats were orally dosed with scopoletin (10 or 50 mg/kg body weight) once a day for 2 weeks. Administering scopoletin delayed the progression of the cataracts that were induced by dietary galactose. Scopoletin also prevented galactose-induced changes in lens morphology, such as lens fiber swelling and membrane rupture. Scopoletin’s protective effect against sugar cataracts was mediated by inhibiting both AR activity and oxidative stress. These results suggest that scopoletin is a useful treatment for sugar cataracts.