Aldose reductase inhibitory potential and anti-cataract activity of Punica granatum Linn. leaves against glucose-induced cataractogenesis in goat eye lens
Accumulation of intracellular sorbitol due to increased aldose reductase (ALR2) activity has been implicated in the development of various secondary complications of diabetes. Thus, ALR2 inhibition could be an effective strategy in the prevention or delay of certain diabetic complications. Gentiana lutea grows naturally in the central and southern areas of Europe. Its roots are commonly consumed as a beverage in some European countries and are also known to have medicinal properties. The water, ethanol, methanol, and ether extracts of the roots of G. lutea were subjected to in vitro bioassay to evaluate their inhibitory activity on the ALR2. While the ether and methanol extracts showed greater inhibitory activities against both rat lens and human ALR2, the water and ethanol extracts showed moderate inhibitory activities. Moreover, the ether and methanol extracts of G. lutea roots significantly and dose-dependently inhibited sorbitol accumulation in human erythrocytes under high glucose conditions. Molecular docking studies with the constituents commonly present in the roots of G. lutea indicate that a secoiridoid glycoside, amarogentin, may be a potential inhibitor of ALR2. This is the first paper that shows G. lutea extracts exhibit inhibitory activity towards ALR2 and these results suggest that Gentiana or its constituents might be useful to prevent or treat diabetic complications.