Journal List > J Nutr Health > v.49(1) > 1081440

J Nutr Health. 2016 Feb;49(1):18-27. Korean.
Published online February 29, 2016.
© 2016 The Korean Nutrition Society
Postprandial hypoglycemic effects of mulberry twig and root bark in vivo and in vitro
Soo Yeon Park,1,** Bo Ra Jin,1,** Yu Rim Lee,1 You Jin Kim,1 Jeong Bin Park,2 Young Hee Jeon,3 Sang Won Choi,3 and Oran Kwon1
1Department of Nutritional Science and Food Management, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, Korea.
2Department of Applied Chemistry and Biological Engineering, Ajou University, Suwon 16499, Korea.
3Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Catholic University of Daegu, Gyungsan 38430, Korea.

To whom correspondence should be addressed. tel: +82-2-3277-6860, Email:

**These two authors contributed to this work equally.

Received November 06, 2015; Revised December 11, 2015; Accepted January 22, 2016.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Our previous study demonstrated the hypoglycemic effects of mulberry (Morus alba L.) leaf and the underlying mechanisms. Here we explored the potency of mulberry twigs (TW) and root barks (RB) in postprandial hypoglycemic effects in vitro and in vivo.


The major components of TW and RB were determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Alpha-glucosidase inhibition and glucose/fructose uptake inhibition in Caco-2 cells were determined for TW, RB, and their major components, followed by an oral sugar tolerance test (OSTT) in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Male Wistar rats were fed a high-fat diet for 2 weeks and then a single dose of streptozotocin (35 mg/kg B.W) was administered by intraperitoneal injection. Rats with fasting blood glucose levels above 126 mg/dL were randomly divided into 5 groups (n = 8/group) for the following treatments by gavage for 4 weeks: vehicle (normal control and diabetic control), 200 mg/kg B.W of TW or RB or 100 mg/kg B.W of oxyresveratrol (OXY).


OXY and mulberroside A were identified as the major components of TW and OXY, mongolicin, and kuwanon H for RB. A significant inhibitory activity on α-glucosidase was found for TW, RB, and OXY (p = 0.0099). There was a dose-dependent inhibition of TW and RB on the intestinal sugar uptakes in Caco-2 cells, showing a greater impact on fructose compared to glucose. The OSTT showed that TW and RB significantly delayed time to maximal concentration (p = 0.0088) and decreased maximal concentration (p = 0.0043) compared to the control group.


These results suggest that TW and RB may have a postprandial hypoglycemic effect, particularly in the case of high fructose or sucrose intake. OXY was suggested as a contributor to the hypoglycemic effect of TW and RB. Further studies are needed for the systemic effect of TW and RB in circulation.

Keywords: mulberry; postprandial hypoglycemic effect; α-glucosidase inhibition; Caco-2 cells


Fig. 1
HPLC chromatograms of mulberry twigs (A) and root barks (B). Analytical conditions are described in the method section.
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Fig. 2
Inhibitory effects of mulberry twigs, root barks, and their major components on α-glucosidase activity. Values are mean ± SE. Different letters indicate significant differences at the p < 0.05 level using Duncan's multiple range test.
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Fig. 3
Inhibitory effects of mulberry twigs, root barks, and oxyresveratrol on α-glucosidase activity with maltose (A) and sucrose (B) as substrates. Values are mean ± SE.
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Fig. 4
The effects of mulberry twigs (A) and root barks (B) on cell viability of Caco-2 cells. Cell were incubated with mulberry twigs or root barks at different concentrations ranging from 0 to 1,000 µg/mL for 1 hr. Data was normalized to that of the vehicle. Values are mean ± SE. Different letters indicate significant differences at the p < 0.05 level using Duncan's multiple range test.
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Fig. 5
Inhibitory effects of mulberry twigs and mulberry root barks on sugar uptake in Caco-2-cells: glucose (A) and fructose (B). Caco-2 cells were grown on 24-well plates and incubated in 10 mM Kreb's buffer containing [3H]-2-deoxyglucose or [14C]-fructose for 5 min at 37℃. Inhibition of [3H]-2-deoxyglucose uptake or [14C]-fructose uptake was measured at the increasing concentrations of mulberry twigs (●), mulberry root barks (○), by quantitation of radioactivity using scintillation counter. Values represent mean ± SE.
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Fig. 6
Effects of mulberry extracts on postprandial blood glucose responses (AUC levels, C max, T max) in streptozotocin-incduced Diabetic Wistar rats (A) Day 0 or (B) Day 28. The inset graph is comparison of fasting blood glucose level between CON and DB CON. The animals received orally administered sucrose (2 g/kg B.W.) with mulberry twigs, root barks extract and OXY after overnight fasting for 12 h. Blood glucose levels were determined from tail blood samples at 0, 15, 30, 60, 90, and 120 min. CON, normal control (n = 13); DB CON, Diabetes control (n = 8); TW, Mulberry twigs extract 200 mg/kg B.W. (n = 7); RB, Mulberry root barks extract 200 mg/kg B.W. (n = 8); OXY, Oxyresveratrol 100mg/kg B.W. (n = 8); Values represent mean ± SE. Different letters indicate significant differences at the p < 0.05 level using repeated measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) with post hoc Duncan's multiple comparison tests. Asterisks in the inset graph denote significant differences relative to control group (p < 0.05 by Student's t-test).
Click for larger image


This study was performed with the support of the RIS program funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea (R0002111).

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