Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of berberine attenuate hepatic fibrosis. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of berberine attenuate hepatic fibrosis induced by thioacetamide injection in rats.
Chem Biol Interact. 2018 Aug 21 ;294:91-100. Epub 2018 Aug 21. PMID: 30138605
Laila Ahmed Eissa
Berberine (BBR) is an isoquinoline alkaloid extracted from the roots, rhizomes and stems of coptis. Liver fibrosis is a worldwide health problem with no established therapy until now. The aim of our study is to investigate the efficacy of BBR on hepatic fibrosis induced in rats and to uncover other mechanisms. Rats were injected with thioacetamide (TAA) (200 mg/kg, i.p) twice per week for 6 weeks to induce fibrosis. Treated groups were gavaged with BBR (50 mg/kg/day, p.o) simultaneously with TAA injection. Hepatic antioxidant enzymes (catalase, SOD, GPx) were assessed in hepatic homogenate. Their activities were attenuated by TAA injection and elevated by BBR administration. Additionally, serum IL-6 and mRNA levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10 and IFN-γ were evaluated as inflammatory markers. Our results showed that BBR suppressed the inflammation induced by TAA injection. Tissue expression of α-SMA (marker of activated HSCs), TGF-β1 and fibronectin were measured by immunohistochemistry as well as mRNA expressions of TGF-β1 and fibronectin were quantified as fibrotic markers. The collagen deposition in hepatic tissues was assessed by Masson's trichome staining. BBR significantly alleviated TGF-β1 production, decreased collagen and fibronectin deposition and consequently attenuated hepatic fibrogenesis. Akt pathway controls cell survival, proliferation, migration and adhesion. The relative phosphorylation of Akt was determined in hepatic homogenates that was increased with TAA injection and decreased by BBR treatment. Inhibition ofAkt pathway has been linked to the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. Caspase-3, caspase-9, Bcl-2 and Bax were quantified as apoptotic markers using qPCR and also caspase-3 by immunohistochemistry. BBR-treated rats showed an increase in the expression of apoptotic markers. Moreover, BBR-treated rats showed restoration of normal liver lobular architecture as shown by H&E staining. In conclusion, BBR is a potential therapeutic candidate for liver fibrosis owing to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.