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Experimental Diabetes Research
Volume 2012, Article ID 147965, 8 pages
Research Article

Inhibition of Aldose Reductase by Gentiana lutea Extracts

1Biochemistry Division, National Institute of Nutrition, Tarnaka, Jamai-Osmania, Hyderabad 500 007, India
2Vinca Institute of Nuclear Sciences, University of Belgrade, 11001 Belgrade, Serbia
3Department of Ophthalmology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA

Received 3 March 2012; Accepted 22 May 2012

Academic Editor: Subrata Chakrabarti

Copyright © 2012 Chandrasekhar Akileshwari 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.


Accumulation of intracellular sorbitol due to increased aldose reductase (ALR2) activity has been implicated in the development of various secondary complications of diabetes. Thus, ALR2 inhibition could be an effective strategy in the prevention or delay of certain diabetic complications. Gentiana lutea grows naturally in the central and southern areas of Europe. Its roots are commonly consumed as a beverage in some European countries and are also known to have medicinal properties. The water, ethanol, methanol, and ether extracts of the roots of G. lutea were subjected to in vitro bioassay to evaluate their inhibitory activity on the ALR2. While the ether and methanol extracts showed greater inhibitory activities against both rat lens and human ALR2, the water and ethanol extracts showed moderate inhibitory activities. Moreover, the ether and methanol extracts of G. lutea roots significantly and dose-dependently inhibited sorbitol accumulation in human erythrocytes under high glucose conditions. Molecular docking studies with the constituents commonly present in the roots of G. lutea indicate that a secoiridoid glycoside, amarogentin, may be a potential inhibitor of ALR2. This is the first paper that shows G. lutea extracts exhibit inhibitory activity towards ALR2 and these results suggest that Gentiana or its constituents might be useful to prevent or treat diabetic complications.