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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2492107, 16 pages
Research Article

Nigella sativa Relieves the Altered Insulin Receptor Signaling in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats Fed with a High-Fat Diet

1Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21511, Egypt
2Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Received 29 March 2016; Revised 20 June 2016; Accepted 30 June 2016

Academic Editor: Tullia Maraldi

Copyright © 2016 Mahmoud Balbaa 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.


The black cumin (Nigella sativa) “NS” or the black seeds have many pharmacological activities such as antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antihypertensive, and antidiabetic properties. In this work, streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats fed with a high-fat diet were treated daily with NS oil (NSO) in order to study the effect on the blood glucose, lipid profile, oxidative stress parameters, and the gene expression of some insulin receptor-induced signaling molecules. This treatment was combined also with some drugs (metformin and glimepiride) and the insulin receptor inhibitor I-OMe-AG538. The administration of NSO significantly induced the gene expression of insulin receptor compared to rats that did not receive NSO. Also, it upregulated the expression of insulin-like growth factor-1 and phosphoinositide-3 kinase, whereas the expression of ADAM-17 was downregulated. The expression of ADAM-17 is corroborated by the analysis of TIMP-3 content. In addition, the NSO significantly reduced blood glucose level, components of the lipid profile, oxidative stress parameters, serum insulin/insulin receptor ratio, and the tumor necrosis factor-α, confirming that NSO has an antidiabetic activity. Thus, the daily NSO treatment in our rat model indicates that NSO has a potential in the management of diabetes as well as improvement of insulin-induced signaling.