Berberine ameliorates oxidative stress-induced apoptosis by modulating ER stress and autophagy in human nucleus pulposus cells.
Life Sci. 2019 Apr 29. Epub 2019 Apr 29. PMID: 31047897
AIM: Nucleus pulposus (NP) cell apoptosis induced by oxidative stress is known to be closely involved in the pathogenesis of intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration. Berberine, a small molecule derived from Rhizoma coptidis, has been found to exert antioxidative activity and preserve cell viability. The present study aims to investigate whether berberine can prevent NP cell apoptosis under oxidative damage and the potential underlying mechanisms.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: The effects of berberine on IVD degeneration were investigated both in vitro and in vivo.
KEY FINDINGS: Our results showed that berberine significantly mitigated oxidative stress-decreased cell viability as well as apoptosis in human NP cells. Berberine treatment could attenuate oxidative stress-induced ER stress and autophagy in a concentration-dependent manner. With 4-PBA (ER stress specific inhibitor) and 3-MA (autophagy specific inhibitor) administration, we demonstrated that berberine inhibited oxidative stress-induced apoptosis by modulating the ER stress and autophagy pathway. We also found that the IRE1/JNK pathway was involved in the induction of ER stress-dependent autophagy. With Cachelator BAPTA-AM utilization, we revealed that oxidative stress-mediated ER stress and autophagy repressed by berberine could be restored by inducing intracellular Cadysregulation. Furthermore, in vivo study provided evidence that berberine treatment could retard the process of puncture-induced IVD degeneration in a rat model.
SIGNIFICANCE: Our results indicate that berberine could prevent oxidative stress-induced apoptosis by modulating ER stress and autophagy, thus offering a novel potential pharmacological treatment strategy for IVD degeneration.