Camellia sinensis (green tea) is used in traditional medicine to treat a wide range of ailments. In the present study, the insulin-releasing and glucose-lowering effects of the ethanol extract of Camellia sinensis (EECS), along with molecular mechanism/s of action, were investigated in vitro and in vivo. The insulin secretion was measured using clonal pancreatic BRIN BD11 β cells, and mouse islets. In vitro models examined the additional glucose-lowering properties of EECS, and 3T3L1 adipocytes were used to assess glucose uptake and insulin action. Non-toxic doses of EECS increased insulin secretion in a concentration-dependent manner, and this regulatory effect was similar to that of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). The insulin release was further enhanced when combined with isobutylmethylxanthine (IBMX), tolbutamide or 30 mM KCl, but was decreased in the presence of verapamil, diazoxide and Ca2+ chelation. EECS also depolarized the β-cell membrane and elevated intracellular Ca2+, suggesting the involvement of a KATP-dependent pathway. Furthermore, EECS increased glucose uptake and insulin action in 3T3-L1 cells and inhibited dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP-IV) enzyme activity, starch digestion and protein glycation in vitro. Oral administration of EECS improved glucose tolerance and plasma insulin as well as inhibited plasma DPP-IV and increased active GLP-1 (7-36) levels in high-fat-diet-fed rats. Flavonoids and other phytochemicals present in EECS could be responsible for these effects. Further research on the mechanism of action of EECS compounds could lead to the development of cost-effective treatments for type 2 diabetes.
- Camelia sinensis
- Camellia sinensis