Protective effects of berberine in a model of polycystic ovary syndrome. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Protective effects of berberine in a rat model of polycystic ovary syndrome mediated via the PI3K/AKT pathway.
J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2021 Mar 11. Epub 2021 Mar 11. PMID: 33709493
BACKGROUND: Ber, a Chinese herbal monomer has been reported to exhibit an array of pharmacological activities related to the lowering of blood glucose and the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). In the present study, we aimed to elucidate the effect of berberine (Ber) on a rat model of PCOS mediated via the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway.
METHODS: A PCOS animal model was induced with the administration of letrozole, and animals were then randomized into untreated or Ber and metformin hydrochloride treated groups. After administration, fasting blood glucose, HOMA-IR, fasting insulin (FINS) values, and the serum hormone levels were measured in PCOS rats. The ovarian tissues were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) for pathological and apoptosis examination. Moreover, the effect of Ber on the proliferation and apoptosis of granulosa cells was detected by CCK-8 assays and flow cytometry. The influence of Ber on granulosa cells was confirmed by blockade of the PI3K/AKT pathway. In addition, the modulatory effect of the blockade of the PI3K/AKT pathway on the expression of related proteins was demonstrated via western blotting.
RESULTS: We found that Ber was able to restore the serum hormone levels and improve IR in a PCOS rat model. The morphological lesions and apoptosis of the ovary were also restored by the Ber treatment. Blockade of the PI3K/AKT pathway attenuated the influences of Ber on the proliferation and apoptosis of granulosa cells.
CONCLUSION: The beneficial effects of Ber on PCOS included alterations of the serum hormone levels, recovery of morphological lesions in the ovary, improvement of insulin resistance, and cell viability and inhibition of apoptosis, which were all mediated through the PI3K/AKT pathway.