Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Purple corn compound may aid in developing future treatments for Type 2 diabetes, kidney disease

Compound Found In Purple Corn May Help to Develop Therapies Aimed at Type 2 Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Article published in the American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology

Diabetic nephropathy is one of the most serious complications related to diabetes, often leading to end-stage kidney disease. Purple corn grown in Peru and Chile is a relative of blue corn, which is readily available in the U.S. The maize is rich in anthocyanins (also known as flavonoids), which are reported to have anti-diabetic properties.

Scientists from the Department of Food and Nutrition and Department of Biochemistry at Hallym University in Korea investigated the cellular and molecular activity of purple corn anthocyanins (PCA) to determine whether and how it affects the development of diabetic nephropathy (DN). Their findings suggest that PCA inhibits multiple pathways involved in the development of DN, which may help in developing therapies aimed at type 2 diabetes and kidney disease.

The study is entitled “Purple corn anthocyanins inhibit diabetes-associated glomerular monocyte activation and macrophage infiltration”
It appears in the online edition of the American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology, published by the American Physiological Society (APS;


Researcher Min-Kyung Kang and colleagues performed a two-part study, an in vitro experiment investigating the effects of PCA on human endothelial cells cultured under hyperglycemic kidney conditions and an in vivo study that investigated the effects of PCA on kidney tissue in diabetic mice. In the in vitro experiment, cultured cells were exposed to 1-20 µg/ml of PCA for six hours (control cells were not exposed), then assessed for level of monocyte-endothelial cell adhesion, a major factor in the development of diabetic glomerulosclerosis. In the in vivo experiment, diabetic and control mice were dosed with PCA for eight weeks, then changes in kidney tissue were assessed and immunohistological analyses were performed. Kidney tissue was further analyzed for levels of inflammatory chemokines, which are key components in DN.

Researchers found that in human endothelial cells cultured in hyperglycemic kidney conditions, induction of endothelial cell adhesion molecules decreased in a dose-dependent manner with PCA exposure, meaning that the PCA likely interfered with cell-cell adhesion in glomeruli. PCA also appeared to interfere with leukocyte recruitment and adhesion to glomerular endothelial cells. In diabetic mice, PCA exposure slowed mesangial expansion and interrupted the cellular signaling pathway that may instigate glomerular adhesion and infiltration of inflammatory cells responsible for diabetic glomerulosclerosis. Finally, PCA inhibited levels of macrophage inflammatory protein-2 and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 in kidney tissue, demonstrating that it may inhibit macrophage infiltration, which is closely related to renal inflammation.

Importance of the Findings
The research suggests that anthocyanins may be the main biofunctional compound in purple corn and could protect against mesangial activation of monocytes and infiltration of macrophages in glomeruli—the two major contributors to DN. The research further suggests that renoprotection by PCA against mesangial activation may be specific therapies targeting diabetes-associated diabetic glomerulosclerosis and renal inflammation. Finally, PCA supplementation may be an important strategy in preventing renal vascular disease in type 2 diabetes.

“PCA may be a potential renoprotective agent treating diabetes-associated glomerulosclerosis,” wrote the researchers.

Research Team

In addition to Min-Kyung Kang, the study team included Jing Li, Ju-Hyun Gong, Su-Nam Kwak, Jung Han Yoon Park, Soon Sung Lim and Young-Hee Kang, all also of the Department of Food and Nutrition at Hallym University in Korea, and Jae-Yong Lee, of the Department of Biochemistry at Hallym University.


This study was funded by a grant from the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries through Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and by the National Research Foundation of Korea.

NOTE TO EDITORS: The article is available online at
For additional information, or to schedule an interview with a member of the research team, please contact Donna Krupa at, @Phyziochick, or 301.634.7209.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function to create health or disease. The American Physiological Society (APS; has been an integral part of the discovery process for 125 years.

Donna Krupa | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

nachricht Breakthrough in Mapping Nicotine Addiction Could Help Researchers Improve Treatment
04.10.2016 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod

21.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Second research flight into zero gravity

21.10.2016 | Life Sciences

How Does Friendly Fire Happen in the Pancreas?

21.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>