The ethyl acetate fraction of corn silk exhibits dual antioxidant and anti-glycation activities and protects insulin-secreting cells from glucotoxicity

Chia Chuan Chang, Wei Yuan, Hsiao Yuh Roan, Jia Ling Chang, Hsiu Chen Huang, Yu Ching Lee, Huey Jen Tsay, Hui Kang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In this study, we aimed to develop a Stigmata Maydis (corn silk) fraction with dual bio-activities against oxidative stress and protein glycation to protect β-cells from diabetes-induced failure. Methods: Corn silk fractions were prepared by partition and chemically characterised by thin-layer chromatography. Free radical scavenging assay, glycation assay, and cell-based viability test (neutral red) were employed to decide the best fraction. Cell death analysis was executed by annexin V/ Propidium iodide staining. Cell proliferation was measured by WST-1. Finally, β-cell function was evaluated by β-cell marker gene expression (RT-PCR) and acute insulin secretion test. Results: Four corn silk fractions were prepared from an ethanolic crude extract of corn silk. In vitro assays indicate ethyl acetate fraction (YMS-EA) was the most potent fraction. YMS-EA also attenuated the hydrogen peroxide- or methylglyoxal-induced induction of reactive oxygen species, reduction of cell viability, and inhibition of cell proliferation. However, YMS-EA was unable to prevent hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptosis or advanced glycation end-products-induced toxicity. Under hyperglycemic conditions, YMS-EA effectively reduced ROS levels, improved mRNA expression of insulin, glucokinase, and PDX-1, and enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. The similarity of bioactivities among apigenin, luteolin, and YMS-EA indicated that dual activities of YMS-EA might be derived from those compounds. Conclusions: We concluded that YMS-EA fraction could be developed as a preventive food agent against the glucotoxicity to β-cells in Type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number432
JournalBMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 3 2016



  • Advanced glycation end products
  • Glucotoxicity
  • Methylglyoxal
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Stigmata Maydis (corn silk)
  • β-cell failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

Cite this