Hydro-ethanolic extract of cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) nut and its principal compound, anacardic acid, stimulate glucose uptake in C2C12 muscle cells

Author(s): Terdong L, Madiraju P, Martineau L C, Valler D, Arnason JT et al.


Scope: Products of cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) are used in traditional medicine for various ailments, including diabetes.

Methods and results: The anti-diabetic properties of cashew plant parts were studied using differentiated C2C12 myoblasts (myotubes) and rat liver mitochondria. Hydroethanolic extract of cashew seed (CSE) and its active component, anacardic acid (AA), stimulated glucose transport into C2C12 myotubes in a concentration-dependent manner. Extracts of other parts (leaves, bark and apple) of cashew plant were inactive. Significant synergistic effect on glucose uptake with insulin was noticed at 100 μg/mL CSE. CSE and AA caused activation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase in C2C12 myotubes after 6 h of incubation. No significant effect was noticed on Akt and insulin receptor phosphorylation. Both CSE and AA exerted significant uncoupling of succinate-stimulated respiration in rat liver mitochondria.

Conclusion: Activation of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase by CSE and AA likely increases plasma membrane glucose transporters, resulting in elevated glucose uptake. In addition, the dysfunction of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation may enhance glycolysis and contribute to increased glucose uptake. These results collectively suggest that CSE may be a potential anti-diabetic nutraceutical.

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