A recent study conducted by researchers from Zhejiang Sci-Tech University and Taizhou University in China has revealed the potential of Cyclocarya paliurus (C. paliurus) leaf flavonoids in the treatment of type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM). This study, published in the Journal of Functional Foods, delved into the therapeutic effects and underlying mechanisms of these flavonoids, shedding light on their potential as a treatment option for T2DM.
C. paliurus, a member of the Pecanaceae family, has been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine due to its numerous health benefits. The leaves of C. paliurus contain various compounds, including flavonoids, polysaccharides, and terpenoids, which have shown therapeutic effects in diabetes. In particular, the total flavonoids of C. paliurus (CTFs) have displayed promise in preventing metabolic disorders associated with obesity.
The study employed a multidimensional approach, utilizing in vitro experiments, transcriptomic analysis, network pharmacology, and biolayer interferometry (BLI). The in vitro experiments revealed that CTFs were non-toxic to beta-TC-6 cells and were able to mitigate damage caused by high glucose levels. Additionally, CTF treatment promoted the proliferation of beta-TC-6 cells and restored insulin mRNA expression.
Transcriptomic analysis was employed to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in CTF-treated and untreated beta-TC-6 cells. This analysis highlighted key pathways involved in glucose uptake, insulin expression, and cell proliferation. Network pharmacology was then utilized to predict the key target proteins of CTFs in the treatment of diabetes. Through this analysis, proteins and pathways crucial for diabetes management were identified. Molecular docking was conducted to validate the interactions between the identified flavonoids and key target proteins, further confirming their potential in the treatment of diabetes.
The study’s findings provide robust evidence supporting the antidiabetic effects of CTFs. These flavonoids promote insulin expression and beta-cell proliferation while mitigating abnormal glucose metabolism. The identified flavonoids, including velutin, kaempferide, peonidin, apigenin, pelargonidin, 5,6,7-trihydroxyflavone, tangeretin, laricitrin, and 4′-methylnaringenin, directly interact with key target proteins such as PIK3CA, contributing to their antidiabetic effects.
This comprehensive study sheds light on the therapeutic potential of C. paliurus flavonoids in the treatment of T2DM. The integration of transcriptomic analysis, network pharmacology, and molecular docking provides a holistic understanding of the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of CTFs in diabetes treatment. However, further research is needed to fully explore the therapeutic potential of these flavonoids and to develop novel and effective treatments for T2DM.