The hypoglycemic activity of lectin isolated from Urtica pilulifera L. seeds (Urticaceae) was investigated in streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats. Significant hypoglycemic effect was found at the dose of 100 mg/kg after i.p. administration for 30 days. Blood glucose (BG) level, food and fluid intake, body weight (BW) loss and histopathologic findings of the normal and diabetic animals were evaluated. The group treated with UPSL (U. pilulifera seed lectin) was also compared against glipizide (oral antidiabetic agent, Carlo-Erba) as a standard. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.