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Exploring the anti-angiogenic properties of diosgenin saponin from Trigonella graecum (fenugreek): A study on Zebrafish embryos

Dapkupar Wankhar, Sambhavi Bhagavatheeswaran, Vinu Ramchandran, Sambantham Shanmugam, Anandan Balakrishnan.


Background: Angiogenesis plays a role in both physiological and pathological processes such as wound healing, embryonic development, and cancer metastasis, and it is the process by which new blood vessels are formed from existing ones. Diosgenin is a naturally occurring steroidal sapogenin found in plants such as yam and fenugreek, which is a compound of interest because of its pharmacological properties, including anti-carcinogenic effects. Zebrafish embryos are used due to their translucent nature, which facilitates the direct observation of vascular development.

Aims and Objectives: The purpose of this study is to utilize zebrafish embryos to examine the impact of diosgenin on angiogenesis. It specifically aims to determine whether diosgenin could inhibit the development of inter-segmental vessels (ISV) in zebrafish embryos and also to investigate its effect on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A), a key regulator of angiogenesis.

Materials and Methods: To explore the anti-angiogenic properties of diosgenin, we performed in vivo experiments using the zebrafish angiogenesis model. This involved staining red blood cells with O-dianisidine and conducting semiquantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis to assess VEGF-A mRNA expression levels.

Results: Diosgenin was shown to hinder the growth and formation of ISV in dosage-dependent development using a red blood cell staining assay when compared to the positive control, SU5416. In addition, there was a significant decrease in VEGF-A expression.

Conclusion: In the presence of diosgenin, there is an evidence of inhibition of ISV development and suppression of VEGF mRNA expression. These findings underscore the therapeutic potential of diosgenin for targeting angiogenesis in cancer. However, further research is needed to understand the mechanism underlying diosgenin’s effect and its clinical relevance.

Key words: Diosgenin; Anti-Angiogenesis; Zebrafish; Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Expression; Cancer; NF-κB; Phytochemical

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