Morphological and morphometric alterations to pancreatic beta- cells were evaluated in streptozotocin (50 mg/kg; i.p) induced diabetic rats treated with honey, metformin or their combination. To clarify Biochemical, histological and morphometric changes that occur in the pancreatic islets of induced diabetic rats treated by honey. Forty rats were randomized into five groups of eight rats. Diabetic rats received distilled water (0.5ml), honey (4.8 gm/kg) , metformin (100 mg/kg), metformin (100 mg/kg) and honey (4.8 gm/kg). Treatments were taken once daily orally for 30 days. Serum blood glucose was measured. Antioxidant activities of beta- cells were evaluated by measuring tissue catalase, malondialdehyde, paraoxonase and fraction of DNA strands. Sections of animal pancreases were fixed into paraffin and stained with hematoxylin & eosin and Van Gieson. Morphologic and morphometric analysis of pancreatic sections including area, perimeter, and percentage of fibrotic area were determined. Combination of honey and metformin reduced the elevated blood glucose level, malondialdehyde , DNA damage% and increased catalase, paraoxonase activities almost to normal. Treatment with either metformin, honey or their combination ameliorated the degenerative effects of streptozotocin on pancreatic beta- cells. The protecting effect of honey on shrinkage of cells and fibrosis % was more than that of metformin alone. Honey could protect against the biochemical and pathological alterations of pancreatic beta-cells induced by diabetes. Clover honey can be considered as a potential adjuvant to metformin in reducing oxidative stress and beta –cell damage.
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