Ruellia tuberosa L. (RTL) exhibits a wide range of phytochemical activities, for example, on treatment of diabetes mellitus (DM), in Orient. There is, however, few study regarding the effect of RTL on glycemic-related homeostasis in type 2 DM (T2DM). We investigated the effect of RTL aqueous and ethanolic extracts on hypoglycemia in high-fat diet (HFD)-fed plus streptozotocin (STZ)-induced T2DM rats, and examined the effect of RTL on glucose uptake in tumor necrosis factor-α-induced insulin-resistant mouse C2C12 myoblasts, a mouse skeletal muscle cell line. The administration of 100 or 400 mg kg BW−1 day−1 of RTL aqueous or ethanolic extracts once a day for 4 weeks significantly ameliorated hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and the insulin resistance (IR) index in diabetic rats. RTL either aqueous or ethanolic extract at a concentration of 25–800 μg/ml significantly improved glucose uptake in insulin-resistant mouse C2C12 myoblasts, indicating inhibiting the IR in skeletal muscles. These evidences suggest that RTL ameliorates hyperglycemia in HFD/STZ-induced T2DM rats may be attributed to the alleviation of IR in skeletal muscles.
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