Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2017, Article ID 7309816, 9 pages
Research Article

Diosgenin, a Novel Aldose Reductase Inhibitor, Attenuates the Galactosemic Cataract in Rats

1Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Qingdao University, Qingdao, China
2Department of Endocrinology, Weifang People’s Hospital, Weifang, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Lixia Ji; moc.361@ijaixil

Received 18 May 2017; Revised 2 August 2017; Accepted 8 August 2017; Published 5 September 2017

Academic Editor: Εleni Bekiari

Copyright © 2017 Lixia Ji 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.


Objective. To seek efficient aldose reductase inhibitors (ARIs) with excellent in vitro and in vivo biological activities against rat galactosemic cataract. Methods. The method was firstly optimized to screen strong ARIs from nonoriented synthetic compounds and natural extracts. Then, diosgenin was assessed on osmotic expansion of primarily cultured lens epithelial cells (LECs) induced by galactose (50 mM). Diosgenin was administered to galactosemic rats by oral (100 and 200 mg/kg) or direct drinking (0.1%) to evaluate its anticataract effects. Results. Diosgenin was found as the strongest ARI with IC50 of 4.59 × 10−6 mol/L. Diosgenin (10 μM) evidently inhibited the formation of tiny vacuoles and upregulation of AR mRNA in LECs. In vivo, diosgenin delayed lens opacification, inhibited the increase of ratio of lens weight to body weight, and decreased AR activity, galactitol level, and AR mRNA expression, especially in the diosgenin drinking (0.1%) group. Conclusions. Diosgenin was an efficient ARI, which not only significantly decreased the LECs’ osmotic expansion in vitro but also markedly delayed progression of rat galactosemic cataract in vivo. Thus, diosgenin rich food can be recommended to diabetic subjects as dietary management to postpone the occurrence of sugar cataract, and diosgenin deserves further investigation for chronic diabetic complications.