Preliminary investigations were carried out to evaluate the antidiabetic effects of the leaves of O. stamineus
extracted serially with solvents of increasing polarity (petroleum ether, chloroform, methanol and water); bioassay-guided purification of plant extracts using the subcutaneous glucose tolerance test (SbGTT) was also carried out. Only the chloroform extract, given at 1 g/kg body weight (b.w.), significantly reduced (P
< 0.05) the blood glucose level of rats loaded subcutaneously with 150 mg/kg (b.w.) glucose. The active chloroform extract of O. stamineus
was separated into five fractions using a dry flash column chromatography method. Out of the five fractions tested, only chloroform fraction 2 (Cƒ2), at the dose of 1 g/kg (b.w.) significantly inhibited (P
< 0.05) blood glucose levels in SbGTT. Active Cƒ2 was split into two sub-fractions Cƒ2-A and Cƒ2-B, using a dry flash column chromatography method. The activities Cƒ2-A and Cƒ2-B were investigated using SbGTT, and the active sub-fraction was then further studied for anti-diabetic effects in a streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat model. The results clearly indicate that Cƒ2-B fraction exhibited a blood glucose lowering effect in fasted treated normal rats after glucose-loading of 150 mg/kg (b.w.). In the acute streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat model, Cƒ2-B did not exhibit a hypoglycemic effect on blood glucose levels up to 7 hours after treatment. Thus, it appears that Cƒ2-B functions similarly to metformin, which has no hypoglycemic effect but demonstrates an antihyperglycemic effect only in normogycemic models. The effect of Cƒ2-B may have no direct stimulatory effects on insulin secretion or on blood glucose levels in diabetic animal models. Verification of the active compound(s) within the active fraction (Cƒ2-B) indicated the presence of terpenoids and, flavonoids, including sinensitin.