Production of Antidiabetic Lignans in Flax Cell Cultures.


Lignans are a group of polyphenols that mimic endogenous estrogen in a structural context. Clear evidence was provided by animal studies and preclinical models that phytoestrogens could have antidiabetic activity in both estrogen-dependent and estrogen-independent pathways. A number of studies, including epidemiological studies and clinical studies conducted in different populations, link lignans, diabetes prevention, and management. Several lignans have been reported as potent antidiabetic compounds, in particular, secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG), the major antidiabetic lignan from flax seeds. SDG have to be converted by the human intestinal microbiota into the bioactive mammalian lignans enterodiol and enterolactone. Most of the published research indicate that SDG may have a great potential to reduce type 1 diabetes mellitus incidence and to delay the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus in humans. Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) cell cultures can provide an attractive and sustainable resource for the production and extraction of antidiabetic lignans. The advantage of using cell cultures as opposed to whole plants is that they can be used independently of climatic or seasonal considerations. This ensures more reproducible production of economically important bioactive extracts. This chapter provides an overview of the biotechnological approaches to the production of antidiabetic lignans in flax cell cultures.



Callus, Cell suspension, Diabetes, Elicitation, Linum usitatissimum L., secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, SDG


Markulin, L., Drouet, S., Garros, L., Anjunm, S., Tungmunnithum, D., Abbasi, B.H., Arroo, R.R.J., Lainé, E., Addi, M., Hano, C. (2021) Production of Antidiabetic Lignans in Flax Cell Cultures. In: Gantait, S., Verma, S.K., Sharangi A.B. (eds.) Biotechnology of Anti-diabetic Medicinal Plants. Singapore: Springer.


Research Institute

Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)