The semi-refined polysaccharide of Pseudostellaria heterophylla
is a complex polysaccharide that exhibits significantly hypoglycemic activities. A novel homogeneous polysaccharide, named as H-1-2, was isolated from the semi-refined polysaccharide. The mean molecular weight of H-1-2 was 1.4 × 104
Da and it was only composed of d
-glucose monosaccharide. Structure elucidation indicated that H-1-2 contains pyranride, and has the characteristics of the α-iso-head configuration, a non-reducing end (T-), 4-, 1,6-, and 1,4,6-connection, in all four ways to connect glucose. H-1-2 was a type of glucan, where chemical combination exists in the main chain between 1→4 linked glucose, and contains a small amount of 1,6-linked glucose, which was in the branched chain. In vitro HepG2, 3T3-L1, and L6 cells were used to assess cellular glucose consumption and cellular glucose uptake by glucose oxidase, and the transport of 2-NBDG fluorescence probe results showed that H-1-2 could clearly increase glucose uptake and utilization in muscle and adipose cells, which is beneficial to screen for in the discovery of anti-diabetes lead compounds. H-1-2 was labeled with radioisotopes (99m
Tc-labeled-H-1-2 was performed by SPECT/CT analysis images after oral administration in rats. At 4 h post ingestion, about 50% of the radioactivity was observed in the intestine. No significant radioactivity was found in the heart, liver, and kidney, conjecturing that absorption of 99m
Tc-labeled H-1-2 might, via intestinal mucosa, be absorbed into systemic circulation. This problem, as to whether the polysaccharide is absorbed orally, will need further examination.
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