Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2768

Full Length Research Paper

Inhibitory effect of Arctium minus on mitochondrial bioenergetics in diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rats

Fernanda M. Ferreira1*, Francisco P. Peixoto2, Elsa Nunes3, Cristina Sena3, Raquel Seiça3 and S. Maria Santos4
  1Department of Environmental Sciences (CERNAS), Agricultural College of Coimbra (ESAC), Coimbra, Portugal. 2Chemistry Department (CECAV), University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal. 3Institute of Physiology and Institute of Biomedical Research in Light and Image, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Portugal. 4Department of Life Sciences, Center for Neurosciences and Cell Biology of Coimbra, University of Coimbra, Portugal.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 02 July 2010
  •  Published: 18 August 2010



Despite an increasing use of medicinal plants in diabetes mellitus therapy, their use is usually based on empirical knowledge. This work aims to evaluate the effects of decoctions prepared from Arctium minus Bernh. on glycaemic control of goto-kakizaki (GK) rats, a type 2 diabetes mellitus animal model, and access the potential toxicity of A. minus decoctions, using liver mitochondrial preparations. GK rats were drinking ad libitum A. minus root decoction for an interval of 4 weeks. During this time, food and beverage ingested and weight increase were controlled. Occasional glycaemias were also evaluated twice a week. Intraperitoneal glucose tolerance was determined at the beginning and at the end of the experiment. Four weeks later, GK rats liver mitochondria were isolated and respiratory parameters evaluated. A. minus root decoctions did not significantly affect the glycaemic control and long-lasting treatments induced noxious effects, considering that the liver mitochondria isolated from A. minus treated GK rats presented a significant decrease in mitochondrial respiratory parameters (RCR and FCCP stimulated respiration). This study showed that long lasting treatments with A. minus tea induced deleterious effects on cellular metabolism and, thus, should be avoided in type 2 diabetes long-term therapy.


Key words: Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats, type 2 diabetes mellitus, Arctium minusBernh., phytotherapy, oxidative phosphorylation, toxicology.