Berberine might become a new strategy for treating cardiac fibrosis in the future. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Berberine regulates proliferation, collagen synthesis and cytokine secretion of cardiac fibroblasts via AMPK-mTOR-p70S6K signaling pathway.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 ;8(10):12509-16. Epub 2015 Oct 1. PMID: 26722438
OBJECTIVE: The traditional Chinese medicinal berberine has long been used to treat cardiovascular diseases; however, the mechanism underlying its effects remains unclear. Here, this study would to investigate the effects of berberine on proliferation, collagen synthesis and cytokine secretion of cardiac fibroblasts.
METHODS: We assessed proliferation, collagen synthesis and cytokine secretion in cardiac fibroblasts subjected to angiotensin II (Ang II) subsequent to the consumption of berberine or a control treatment. And then we detected the role of AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway in berberine treatment of cardiac fibroblasts.
RESULTS: In the present study, the cellular behaviors of cardiac fibroblasts induced by Ang II were significantly activated including proliferation, transformation into myofibroblasts and collagen synthesis. Additionally, the ability of cytokine secretion was enhanced obviously. It was demonstrated that treatment of cardiac fibroblasts with berberine resulted in deceased proliferation, and attenuated fibroblastα-smooth muscle actin expression and collagen synthesis. And the protein secretion of TGFβ1 was inhibited; however, the protein secretion of IL-10 was increased in cardiac fibroblasts with berberine treatment. Mechanistically, the phosphorylation level of AMPK was increased; and the phosphorylation levels of mTOR and p70S6K were decreased in berberine treatment group.
CONCLUSION: These results illustrated that the protective effects of berberine on cellular behaviors of cardiac fibroblasts were at least in part due to activate AMPK signaling pathway and downregulate mTOR/p70S6K signaling pathway. Berberine might become a new strategy for treating cardiac fibrosis in the future.