Berberine attenuates arterial plaque formation. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Berberine Attenuates Arterial Plaque Formation in Atherosclerotic Rats with Damp-Heat Syndrome via Regulating Autophagy.
Drug Des Devel Ther. 2020 ;14:2449-2460. Epub 2020 Jun 23. PMID: 32606611
Purpose: Berberine (BBR) is an effective component of Huanglian and has shown to attenuate atherosclerosis (AS); however, the detailed mechanism of BBR-mediated protective actions against AS remains elusive. This study was undertaken to examine the effects of BBR on aortic atherosclerotic plaque stability and the expression of autophagy-related proteins in AS rats with damp-heat syndrome or yang deficiency.
Methods: Thirty SD rats were randomly divided into (1) control (CON); (2) damp-heat syndrome atherosclerosis (AS + DH); (3) yang deficiency syndrome atherosclerosis (AS + YX); (4) damp-heat syndrome atherosclerosis + BBR (AS + DH + BBR); (5) yang deficiency syndrome, atherosclerosis + BBR (AS + YX + BBR); and (6) damp-heat syndrome, atherosclerosis + BBR + 3-methyladenine (AS + DH + BBR + 3-MA) (n = 5/group) groups. Pathological morphology, macrophage plaque infiltration, inflammation, and LC3-II and P62 expression were assessed.
Results: Compared with the CON group, the AS + DH and AS + YX groups had an increased plaque area in the aortic tissue with substantial foam cell and macrophage infiltration, and increased levels of IL-1β and TNF-α (P<0.01). After four weeks of BBR intervention, the plaque area in the AS + DH + BBR group was reduced with decreased foam cells and macrophage infiltration, and decreased levels of TNF-α and IL-1β, whereas LC3-II protein expression was increased and P62 protein expression was decreased in the AS + DH + BBR group when compared to AS + DH group. In addition, the AS + DH + BBR + 3-MA group exhibited a significantly enlarged plaque, substantial foam cell and macrophage infiltration,increased levels of IL-1β and TNF-α, and decreased LC3-II and P62 (P<0.01) expression when compared to the AS + DH + BBR group.
Conclusion: Our results indicated that the BBR could inhibit arterial plaque formation and alleviate the inflammatory response in the aortic tissues in the AS rats with damp-heat syndrome possibly via promoting autophagy. The molecular mechanisms of BBR-mediated protective effects in this animal model still require further investigation.