DOI: 10.1002/fsn3.3999 ISSN: 2048-7177

Silibinin as a promising treatment for diabetes: Insights into behavioral and metabolic changes in an animal model

Asli San Dagli Gul, Gulbahar Boyuk Ozcan, Okan Arihan
  • Food Science


Diabetes mellitus is causing serious health problems in the chronic period. Silibinin is a flavonoid obtained from the milk thistle (Silybum marianum), which is among the herbal ethnopharmacological administrations. In studies with silibinin, it has been reported that it increases the activity of pancreatic beta cells and insulin sensitivity and has a hyperglycemia‐reducing effect. However, behavioral parameters have not been evaluated together with insulin levels and liver function tests. Our aim in this study was to examine the effects of silibinin on insulin secretion, anxiety‐like behaviors, and learning in a streptozotocin (STZ)‐induced rat diabetes model. Wistar albino rats weighing 200–250 g were divided into 4 groups. Control: Saline solution, Diabetes: STZ 45 mg/kg, S 100: STZ 45 mg/kg + Silibinin 100 mg/kg, S 200: STZ 45 mg/kg + Silibinin 200 mg/kg. Administrations were continued for 21 days. On the 21st day, open field and elevated plus maze as unconditional anxiety tests; Barnes maze for learning and memory; and rotarod test for locomotor activity were conducted. Following behavioral tests, blood samples were taken under anesthesia. Blood glucose levels and ALT values were measured. Insulin levels were measured with an ELISA plate reader. Silibinin shortened the time to find the correct hole. Silibinin prevented the decrease in insulin due to STZ, exhibited a hyperglycemia‐reducing effect and decreased the elevation of ALT.

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