Ameliorating Effects of Quercetin in a Diabetic Rat Model with Social Anxiety Disorder

  • Mohamed Lamine ToumiEmail author
  • Sameha MerzougEmail author
  • Abdelatif Boutefnouchet
Original Article



The present study aimed to investigate the effects of quercetin on diabetes-induced behavioural, metabolic and histopathological alterations in a rat model that mimics the development of social anxiety disorder in diabetic humans.


Diabetes was induced by an intraperitoneal injection of alloxan (150 mg/kg bw). Three weeks later, the initial animal groups (control and diabetic) were assigned to three paralleled experiments during which quercetin was orally administered at a relatively high dose (100 mg/kg bw). The behavioural assessment included the forced swim test, the elevated plus-maze, the open field and the social interaction tests. The plasma glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol, urea and creatinine levels were evaluated, whereas the histopathology of the prefrontal cerebral cortex, liver and kidneys were checked out.


Diabetes was associated with anxiety-like, depressive-like and defective social behaviours. The metabolic parameters were significantly elevated along with a histological damage to hepatic, renal and pre-frontal cerebral tissues. Quercetin treatment in diabetic rats alleviated the behavioural disorders while improving the social interactions. A significant decrease in all metabolic parameters was found following quercetin intake, which were accompanied by a better histo-pathological profile of the studied tissues.


Our findings suggest that the pathophysiology of diabetes is tightly linked to anxiety-like, depression-like, and deteriorated social behaviours, which may originate from a severe damage to the prefrontal cerebral cortex integrity. Interestingly, a high-dose short treatment with quercetin may mitigate the diabetes-related neurobehavioural, metabolic and histological disturbances, and prevent the defective sociability in long-term diabetic subjects.


Diabetes mellitus Histopathology Quercetin Anxiety Depression Sociability 


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We are grateful to Mounir Merzoug, Prof. Mohamed Benslama and Dr. Nabila Behar-Benosmane for their technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Environmental Risk Assessment and Health Science and Springer 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural and Life SciencesUniversity of Chadli BendjedidEl TarfAlgeria
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Badji MokhtarAnnabaAlgeria

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