Protective effect of thymoquinone improves cardiovascular function, and attenuates oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis by mediating the PI3K/Akt pathway in diabetic rats.
Mol Med Rep. 2016 Jan 28. Epub 2016 Jan 28. PMID: 26820252
Thymoquinone is the main active monomer extracted from black cumin and has anti‑inflammatory, antioxidant and anti‑apoptotic functions. However, the protective effects of thymoquinone on cardiovascular function in diabetes remain to be fully elucidated. The present study aimed to investigate the molecular mechanisms underling the beneficial effects of thymoquinone on the cardiovascular function in streptozotocin‑induced diabetes mellitus (DM) rats. Supplement thymoquinone may recover the insulin levels and body weight, inhibit blood glucose levels and reduce the heart rate in DM‑induced rats. The results indicated that the heart, liver and lung to body weight ratios, in addition to the blood pressure levels, were similar for each experimental group. Treatment with thymoquinone significantly reduced oxidative stress damage, inhibited the increased endothelial nitric oxide synthase protein expression and suppressed the elevation of cyclooxygenase‑2 levels in DM‑induced rats. In addition, thymoquinone significantly suppressed the promotion of tumor necrosis factor‑α and interleukin‑6 levels in the DM‑induced rats. Furthermore, administration of thymoquinone significantly reduced caspase‑3 activity and the promotion of phosphorylated‑protein kinase B (Akt) protein expression levels in DM‑induced rats. These results suggest that the protective effect of thymoquinone improves cardiovascular function and attenuates oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis by mediating the phosphatidylinositol 3‑kinase/Akt pathway in DM‑inducedrats.