Effects of isoquinoline alkaloid berberine on lipid peroxidation, antioxidant defense system, and liver damage induced by lead acetate in rats.
Redox Rep. 2016 Feb 12. Epub 2016 Feb 12. PMID: 26871196
Objectives Liver is considered a target organ affected by lead toxicity. Oxidative stress is among the mechanisms involved in liver damage. Here we investigated the effects of the natural alkaloid berberine on oxidative stress and hepatotoxicity induced by lead in rats. Methods Animals received an aqueous solution of lead acetate (500 mg Pb/l in the drinking water) and/or daily oral gavage of berberine (50 mg/kg) for 8 weeks. Rats were then weighed and used for the biochemical, molecular, and histological evaluations. Results Lead-induced oxidative stress, shown by increasing lipid peroxidation along with a concomitant decrease in hepatic levels of thiol groups, total antioxidant capacity, the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione-S-transferase, and reduced versus oxidized glutathione ratio. Berberine corrected all the disturbances in oxidative stress markers induced by lead administration. Berberine also prevented the elevated levels of enzymes (alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase) and the decrease in body weight and albumin. The protective effects of berberine were comparable with silymarin. Furthermore, berberine attenuated liver damage, shown by decreased necrosis and inflammatory cell infiltration. Discussion Berberine represents a potential therapeutic option against lead-induced hepatotoxicity through inhibiting lipid peroxidation and enhancing antioxidant defenses. Conclusion Berberine exerted protective effectson lead-induced oxidative stress and hepatotoxicity in rats.