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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 747830, 5 pages
Research Article

Litsea japonica Extract Inhibits Aldose Reductase Activity and Hyperglycemia-Induced Lenticular Sorbitol Accumulation in db/db Mice

Korean Medicine Based Herbal Drug Development Group, Herbal Medicine Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea

Received 10 December 2014; Accepted 4 February 2015

Academic Editor: Mayank Thakur

Copyright © 2015 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.


Aldose reductase (AR) is the first and rate-limiting enzyme of the polyol pathway. AR-dependent synthesis of excess polyols leads to lens opacification in diabetic cataract. The purpose of this study is to investigate the protective effect of Litsea japonica extract (LJE) on diabetes-induced lens opacification and its protective mechanism in db/db mice. Seven-week-old male db/db mice were treated with LJE (100 and 250 mg/kg body weight) once a day orally for 12 weeks. LJE dose dependently inhibited rat lens aldose reductase activity in vitro (IC50 = 13.53 ± 0.74 µg/mL). In db/db mice, lens was slightly opacified, and lens fiber cells were swollen and ruptured. In addition, lenticular sorbitol accumulation was increased in db/db mice. However, the administration of LJE inhibited these lenticular sorbitol accumulation and lens architectural changes in db/db mice. Our results suggest that LJE might be beneficial for the treatment of diabetes-induced lens opacification. The ability of LJE to suppress lenticular sorbitol accumulation may be mediated by the inhibition of AR activity.