Veterinary Physiology

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Comparative Assessment of Portulaca oleracea, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Combination of Selenium plus Vitamin E on Histopathology of Pancreas in Diabetic Rats

Mahdi Alyari Gavaher1* , Daryoush Babazadeh2 , Alireza Sadeghi3 , Veghar Hejazi4 , Farhang Sasani5 , Arman Moshavery1 , and Pouria Ahmadi Simab6

1 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran

2 School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

3 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran

4 Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Aras Branch, Tabriz, Iran

5 Department of Veterinary Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran

6 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Sanandaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sanandaj, Iran

7 * Corresponding author: Mahdi Alyari Gavaher, Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran.




Introduction: Antidiabetic effects of Portulaca oleracea (PO) plant, omega-3 and combination of Selenium and Vitamin E have been reported which could compensate defective insulin release and enhance antioxidant level. The purpose of the present study was comparative of serum glucose level and histopathological effects on PO, Omega-3 and combination of Selenium and Vitamin E in pancreas of adult male diabetic rats. Materials and methods: 96 adults male Wistar rats, weighing approximately 220 g were used. The rats divided into four groups with 4 replicates for each group accidently. The rats were diabetic via single Injection of streptozotocin solution (60 mg/kg, IP injection). The groups contained the control group of diabetic rats, which received the standard ration daily, the second group of diabetic rats were fed standard ration plus Portulaca oleracea extract (1.5 mg/kg/day/orally), the third group of diabetic rats were fed standard ration plus omega 3 (500 mg/kg/day/orally), the fourth group of diabetic rats were fed standard ration plus Vitamin E (400 iu/kg/day/orally) and Selenium (0.5 mg/kg/day/orally) for a period of 14 days. At the end of the study, the samples were taken for histopathological investigation of pancreas and serum glucose levels. The mean diameter of pancreatic islets and percentage of beta and alpha cells were calculated in all groups. Results: The percentage of alpha cells in treatment groups were higher than the control group. The percentage of beta cells in the third group was higher than the fourth group and control group. The mean diameter of pancreatic islets in omega3 treated rats was higher than other groups. The insulin level increased in treated rats in comparison with the rats were not treated significantly. Conclusion: Diabetic male rats treated with omega-3 showed more positive effects on pancreatic islets and blood glucose compared to other treatment groups.

  1. Introduction:

Diabetes mellitus is a pathologic condition which causes extensive and non-physiological metabolic imbalance disorders, including an increase in blood glucose, and changes in carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism in different body tissues, such as nail and hair1,2. An increase in blood glucose initiates a series of cascade reactions, which finally leads to an increase in free radicals’ production (including oxygen free radicals) in various body tissues3,4. The high potency of these compounds for chemical reactions damages cells and tissues. Several reports have been published concerning the involvement of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in the tissue damages5 among which the high level of ROS in pancreatic islets and changes in oxidative stress markers in laboratory animals can be noted6. Aerobic cells can be protected against free radical particularly ROS by antioxidants compounds, such as glutathione, Vitamins E and C, as well as super Oxide Dismutase (SOD), glutathione Peroxidase (GPx), and catalase enzymes7,8. On the other hand, studies has also showed a significant decline both in non-enzymatic antioxidants ( including rehabilitated glutathione (GSH) and Vitamin E) and enzymatic antioxidants (such as SOD, catalase, and GPx in diabetic rat)9,10. It is also shown that the free radicals can cause diabetic damages in different organs like pancreas and liver by declining SOD, catalase, and antioxidants activities11,10. Free radicals can also damage the unsaturated fatty acid in cell membranes12. The combination of fatty acids in cell membranes can also affect cell membrane-related phenomena such as the interaction between insulin and its receptors13. In addition, it has been indicated that fatty acid composition of membrane phospholipids in insulin target tissues like liver and skeletal muscles, which is an important factor affecting both insulin secretion and its biological activity14. Red blood cells are also susceptible to oxidative damage, due to the presence of fatty acid in their membrane and high concentration of oxygen and hemoglobin11. Hence, it is beneficial to use antioxidants compounds (particularly natural antioxidants) and omega3 fatty acid to prevent the oxidative damage. Vitamin E plus Selenium is one of the important foods compounds which not only have high antioxidant properties but it can also affect different biological processes of the body. Shamsi et al.15 has also shown that Vitamin E decreases blood glucose in diabetic rats and reduces diabetic disorders. It was also reported that Vitamin E declines Malondialdehyde (MDA) and increases GSH and SOD in diabetic rats16. Vitamin E prevents lipid peroxidation and protect cells against peroxide radicals thus it is the most important antioxidant in biological membrane which can neutralize free radicals17. Selenium is the only trace element which enters the genetic code as selenocysteine. This element can be extensively found in selenoproteins, namely GPx enzyme, through which Selenium antioxidant effect is activated18. Reports available on the efficacy of Selenium in the diabetes have indicate a decline in the effect of streptozotocin (STZ) by Selenium and its positive effect on GPX enzyme activity in laboratory rats19,20. Portulaca oleracea is a rich source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid), different vitamins (A, C, and E), and minerals which has different pharmacological (such as antioxidant, anticancer, antiinflammatory, and antimicrobial) properties21. Although bioactive compounds of Portulaca oleracea can have beneficial effects against the diabetes22. There is a few research addressing the anti-diabetic effects of this plant in previous years23,24. Thus, the aim of present study was to compare the effect of consumption of Portulaca oleracea extracts with natural antioxidants (vitamin E + selenium) and omega3 fatty acids on the serum levels of glucose, blood insulin, and histopathology of the pancreatic tissues.

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