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The Pentacyclic Triterpenoids in Herbal Medicines and Their Pharmacological Activities in Diabetes and Diabetic Complications

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Pentacyclic triterpenoids including the oleanane, ursane and lupane groups are widely distributed in many medicinal plants, such as Glycyrrhiza species, Gymnema species, Centella asiatica, Camellia sinensis, Crataegus species and Olea europaea, which are commonly used in traditional medicine for the treatment of diabetes and diabetic complications. A large number of bioactive pentacyclic triterpenoids, such as oleanolic acid, glycyrrhizin, glycyrrhetinic acid, ursolic acid, betulin, betulinic acid and lupeol have shown multiple biological activities with apparent effects on glucose absorption, glucose uptake, insulin secretion, diabetic vascular dysfunction, retinopathy and nephropathy. The versatility of the pentacyclic triterpenes provides a promising approach for diabetes management.

Keywords: Diabetes; Pentacyclic triterpenoids; diabetic complications; herbal medicines; lupane; medicinal plants; oleanane; pentacyclic triterpenoids; phytochemicals; structure-activity relationship

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2013

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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