Ameliorating effects of berberine on MK-801-induced cognitive and motor impairments in a neonatal rat model of schizophrenia.
Neurosci Lett. 2019 May 16. Epub 2019 May 16. PMID: 31103726
Samaneh Ghotbi Ravandi
Neonatal administration of MK-801 (NMDA receptor antagonist) results in schizophrenia-like behaviors in rodents. Berberine (BBR) is a herbal alkaloid, which shows many neuroprotective properties in neurodegenerative diseases. The present study was designed to clarify whether systemic administration of BBR improves motor and cognitive disturbances induced by MK-801 treatment. Male Wistar rat pups were treated with intraperitoneal administration of saline (1 ml/kg) as a control group, MK-801 (1 mg/kg), BBR (20 mg/kg) and BBR (20 mg/kg) plus MK- 801 (1 mg/kg). Treatments were administered on postnatal day (P) 6-10 for once daily. To assess motor learning, coordination as well as spatial learning and memory, behavioral evaluation was performedat P55-60, using the rotarod, open field, and Morris water maze paradigm. MK-801 injection led to motor perturbations in both the open field and accelerating rotarod tests, which were restored by BBR. Also, BBR improved learning impairments, although it had no significant effect on the Probe test. Taken together, it can be concluded that BBR produces a neuroprotective effect in rats with MK-801-associated behavioral deficits. Given that the MK-801 exposure demonstrates an animal model of schizophrenia, we suggest that timely BBR administration may act as a potential treatment in schizophrenicpatients.