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Jinmaitong ameliorates diabetes-induced peripheral neuropathy in rats through Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway

Wei Song, Ying Sun, Xiao-chun Liang, Qian Zhang, Jun Xie, Chao Wang, Wei Liu
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2021 v.266 pp. 113461
Oriental traditional medicine, blood glucose, body weight, eosin, glycogen synthase kinases, intraperitoneal injection, males, models, myelin sheath, nerve tissue, peripheral nervous system diseases, placebos, protective effect, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, streptozotocin, transmission electron microscopes
Jinmaitong (JMT) is a prescription of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which is composed of ten herbal drugs and two animal drugs. It has long been used for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN).Wnt/β-catenin pathway is considered as an essential and direct driver of myelinogenesis. This study aims to evaluate the protective effect of JMT against DPN dynamically during a 16-weeks’ treatment, and to investigate the underlying mechanism in which the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is involved.Diabetic model was induced by single intraperitoneal injection of Streptozotocin (STZ) using male Sprague-Dawley rats. The model rats were divided into five groups and administrated with JMT at three doses (0.437, 0.875, and 1.75 g/kg per day), neurotropin (positive drug, 2.67 NU/kg per day), and placebo (deionized water), respectively, for continuous 8 weeks (n = 9–10), 12 weeks (n = 8–10), or 16 weeks (n = 7–9). Meanwhile, rats in control group were administrated with placebo (n = 10 for 8 weeks, n = 9 for 12 and 16 weeks, respectively). Blood glucose and body weight were monitored every four weeks. Mechanical allodynia was assessed using mechanical withdrawal threshold (MWT) test. The morphological change of sciatic nerves were observed by transmission electron microscope (TEM) and hematoxylin and eosin (HE) stain. The mRNA and protein levels of targeted genes were evaluated by quantitative real time-PCR and western bolt, respectively. Myelin protein zero (MPZ) and mediators involved in Wnt/β-catenin pathway, such as β-catenin, glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β), and WNT inhibitory factor-1 (WIF-1), were compared among different groups after treatment of 8, 12, and 16 weeks, respectively.The mechanical allodynia and peripheral nerve morphology were degenerated in DPN rats over time, and notably improved after JMT-treatment of 12 and 16 weeks. The decreased MPZ level in DPN rats were also significantly amended by JMT. More importantly, we found that the suppressed Wnt/β-catenin pathway in sciatic nerves of DPN rats was overtly up-regulated by JMT in a time-dependent manner. Among the three doses, JMT at the middle dose showed the best effect.JMT effectively ameliorated diabetic-induced peripheral neuropathy, which was mediated by the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. This study provided new perspective to understand the neuroprotective mechanism of JMT.