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The Effect of Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis), Honeybush (Cyclopia intermedia) and Sutherlandia (Lessertia frutescens) on Testicular Insulin Signalling in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetes in Wistar Rats

Authors Omolaoye TS, Windvogel SL, Du Plessis SS

Received 5 October 2020

Accepted for publication 10 February 2021

Published 19 March 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 1267—1280


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Konstantinos Tziomalos

Temidayo S Omolaoye,1,2 Shantal Lynn Windvogel,1,3 Stefan S Du Plessis1,2

1Division of Medical Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg, South Africa; 2Department of Basic Sciences, College of Medicine, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; 3Centre for Cardio-Metabolic Research in Africa, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

Correspondence: Stefan S Du Plessis
Department of Basic Sciences, College of Medicine, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, P.O. Box 505055, Dubai, 505055, United Arab Emirates
Email [email protected]

Background: Testicular insulin signalling is altered in diabetic (DM) males. While unravelling the mechanism through which DM exert these detrimental effects, studies have shown the importance of insulin regulation in glucose homeostasis, and how a lack in insulin secretion indirectly led to reduced male fertility. The current study aimed to investigate the role of rooibos, honeybush and Sutherlandia on insulin signalling in the testicular tissue of type I diabetic rats.
Methods: Animals (n=60) were randomly divided into six groups. The groups include a control group, a vehicle group, and diabetes was induced in the remainder of animals via a single intraperitoneal injection of STZ at 45mg/kg. The remaining four groups included a diabetic control (DC), diabetic + rooibos (DRF), diabetic + honeybush (DHB) and diabetic + Sutherlandia group (DSL). Animals were sacrificed after seven weeks of treatment, and blood and testes were collected.
Results: All diabetic groups (DC, DRF, DHB, DSL) presented with a significant increase in blood glucose levels after diabetes induction compared to the control and vehicle (p< 0.001). The DC animals presented with decreased testicular protein expression of IRS-1, PkB/Akt and GLUT4 compared to controls. DRF and DHB animals displayed an acute upregulation in IRS-1, while the DSL group showed improvement in IRS-2 compared to DC. Although, DRF animals presented with a decrease in PkB/Akt, DHB and DSL animals displayed upregulation (22.3%, 48%) compared to controls, respectively.
Conclusion: The results taken together, it can be suggested that these infusions may enhance insulin signalling through diverse pathways.

Keywords: testis, rooibos, honeybush, Sutherlandia, diabetes, insulin signalling

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