Liquiritigenin reduces blood glucose level and bone adverse effects in hyperglycemic adult zebrafish

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Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease characterized by chronic hyperglycemia that induces other pathologies including diabetic retinopathy and bone disease. Adult Danio rerio (zebrafish) represents a powerful model to study both glucose and bone metabolism. Then, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of liquiritigenin (LTG) on blood glucose level and diabetes complications in hyperglycemic adult zebrafish. LTG is a flavonoid extracted from Glycyrrhiza glabra roots which possess important antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties. During four weeks of glucose treatment, LTG significantly prevented the onset of the hyperglycemia in adult zebrafish. Moreover, hyperglycemic fish showed increased advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and parathormone levels whereas LTG completely prevented both of these metabolic alterations. Large bone-loss areas were found in the scales of glucose-treated fish whereas only small resorption lacunae were detected after glucose/LTG treatment. Biochemical and histological tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) assays performed on explanted scales confirmed that LTG prevented the increase of osteoclastic activity in hyperglycemic fish. The osteoblastic alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity was clearly lost in scales of glucose-treated fish whereas the co-treatment with LTG completely prevented such alteration. Gene expression analysis showed that LTG prevents the alteration in crucial bone regulatory genes. Our study confirmed that LTG is a very promising natural therapeutic approach for blood glucose lowering and to contrast the development of bone complications correlated to chronic hyperglycemia.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE1042
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2019


  • Bone
  • Liquiritigenin
  • Osteoporosis
  • Scale
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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