Remodelling of gut microbiota by Berberine attenuates trimethylamine N-oxide-induced platelet hyperreaction and thrombus formation.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2021 Sep 29 ;911:174526. Epub 2021 Sep 29. PMID: 34599914
Berberine is an extract derived from Chinese herbs with pleiotropic cardiovascular protective effects. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear because of its poor bioavailability. Herin, we aimed to investigate whether berberine affects choline diet-induced arterial thrombosis and explore the potential mechanism. Ultrasound and optical coherence tomography were used to assess the potential risk of artery thrombosis in vivo. The plasma concentrations of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) and trimethylamine (TMA) were quantified with mass spectrometry. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) were utilized to detect the levels of microbial TMA-lyase choline utilization C (CutC) in faeces. Gut microbiota analysis was performed with 16S rRNA gene sequencing. For in vitro studies, platelet aggregometry, intracellular Cameasurement, ATP release assay, flow cytometry and Western blot were applied to identify the effects of TMAO on platelets. Berberine treatment significantly decreased the CutC levels in the caecal contents, reduced choline diet-induced TMA and TMAO production, and subsequently, reduced the arterial thrombosis potential risk. Berberine administration remodelled the structure of gut microbiota in rats and increased the levels of the genus Lactobacillus. Finally, TMAO enhanced platelet reactivity to collagen by promoting the phosphorylation levels of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in platelets. These results demonstrate that berberine attenuates the risk of choline diet-induced arterial thrombosis by changing the gut microbial composition and reducing TMAO generation.