Berberine Inhibits Pro-inflammatory Cytokine-induced IL-6 and CCL11 Production via Modulation of STAT6 Pathway in Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells.
Int J Med Sci. 2020 ;17(10):1464-1473. Epub 2020 Jun 8. PMID: 32624703
Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid isolated from various Chinese herbs that has potential of anti-inflammatory, anti-lipidemic, anti-neoplastic, and anti-diabetic activity. In this study, we evaluated the anti-inflammatory efficacy of berberine on allergic airway inflammation by targeting epithelial cells. Allergic airway inflammation driven by T helper 2 (Th2)-type immunity is characterized by airway hyperresponsiveness, elevated IgE production, and eosinophilic infiltration. For eosinophil recruitment, major chemoattractant CCL11 (eotaxin-1) was secreted by lung epithelial cells. BEAS-2B cells, a human bronchial epithelial cell line, were pre-treated with berberine and then activated by IL-4 plus TNF-α. The viability of BEAS-2B cells was assessed. Expression levels of IL-6 and CCL11 were determined using ELISA and real-time PCR. The signaling pathways of MAP kinases, NF-κB, and STAT6 were analyzed by western blot. Berberine treatment (≤1 μM) didn't significantly affect the viability of BEAS-2B cells with or without IL-4 plus TNF-stimulation. Berberine significantly inhibited the secretion of IL-6 and CCL11 from pro-inflammatory cytokine-activated BEAS-2B cells. NF-κB and MAP kinase pathways were seemingly unaffected in BEAS-2B cells with berberine treatment. Significant reduction ofnuclear STAT6 protein expression in activated BEAS-2B cells with berberine treatment was observed. Current study reveals that berberine has inhibitory effect in pro-inflammatory cytokine-activated BEAS-2B cells through reducing IL-6 and CCL11 production, which is possibly modulated by suppressing STAT6 signaling pathway.