Pharm Sci. 2019;25(1):37-43.
doi: 10.15171/PS.2019.6
  Abstract View: 177
  PDF Download: 133

Research Article

The Effects of Urtica dioica and Lamium album Extracts on the Expression Level of Cyclooxygenase-2 and Caspase-3 in the Liver and Kidney of Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats

Korosh Khanaki 1,2 ORCiD, Mahmood Abedinzade 1,3 ORCiD, Masoud Hamidi 1,4 * ORCiD

1 Medical Biotechnology Research Center, School of Paramedicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran.
2 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran.
3 Department of Medical Physiology, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran.
4 Food and Drug Research Center, Vice-Chancellery of Food and Drug, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran.


Background: Diabetes seems to be associated with increased inflammation and induced apoptosis in several tissues. Urtica dioica and Lamium album have shown to possess a variety of beneficial properties like anti-inflammatory effects. In this experimental study, we tried to evaluate the effects of U. dioica and L. album extracts on the expression level of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2; as an inflammation marker) and caspase-3 (CASP-3; as an apoptotic marker) in the liver and kidney tissues of diabetic rats. Methods: Thirty-two male Wistar rats were randomly allocated to four groups: normal control, diabetic control, diabetic treated with U. dioica (100 mg/kg/daily), and diabetic treated with L. album (100 mg/kg/daily) for 28 days. At the end of the study, liver and kidney tissues were harvested and mRNA expression level of COX-2 and CASP-3 was determined by real-time PCR technique. Also, serum glucose was measured. Results: Liver COX-2 mRNA in diabetic rats was significantly higher than normal control rats (P=0.02). However, U. dioica and L. album caused significant decrease in mRNA expression of liver COX-2 in diabetic rats (P=0.015 and P=0.03, respectively). Also, in diabetic rats treated with both extracts, serum glucose was remarkably lower than diabetic control rats (P<0.0001 and P<0.01, respectively). Conclusion: It appears that U. dioica and L. album might decrease liver damage by decreasing the inflammatory effects of COX-2 in streptozocin-induced diabetic rats. Since these plant extracts may influence diabetes by several mechanisms, further research in this field is warranted.
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Submitted: 24 Jun 2018
Revised: 26 Aug 2018
Accepted: 04 Oct 2018
First published online: 18 Mar 2019
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