Abstract Title:

Berberine Attenuates Inflammation Associated with Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity via Suppressing Th1 Response and Inhibiting Apoptosis.

Abstract Source:

Inflammation. 2016 Nov 10. Epub 2016 Aug 10. PMID: 27832398

Abstract Author(s):

Zhigang Wang, Zhe Chen, Tao Chen, Tao Yi, Zhou Zheng, Hong Fan, Zebin Chen

Article Affiliation:

Zhigang Wang


Berberine, one of the active alkaloids from Rhizoma Coptidis, has been indicated to have anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. The aim of this study was to determine the role of berberine on ovalbumin (OVA)-induced delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) and its potential mechanisms. Berberine treatment significantly reduced footpad swelling, inflammatory cells infiltration, anti-OVA IgG levels, IgE concentration in serum, and the tetramer(+)CD8(+) cells. In homogenized footpad tissue, the production of Th1-mediated cytokines including IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-2 were suppressed following the administration of berberine. Detailed studies revealed that berberine prevented differentiation into Th1 cells in the OVA-primed lymphocytes, resulting from suppressing the expression of T-bet and secretion of IFN-γ but not IL-4. Concanavalin A stimulation assay and MTT assay also indicated inhibiting effect of berberine treatment on IFN-γ production and decreased cytotoxicity in lymphocytes proliferation, respectively. Additionally, berberine obviously decreased the cell apoptosis and enzymatic activity of caspase-3, which was further confirmed by the facts that berberine clearly lowered Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and expression of cleaved caspase-3 protein. On correlation analysis, the percentage of apoptotic cells showed a significant positive relationship with IFN-γ/IL-4 ratio of supernatant from footpad tissue in berberine-treated DTH mice.These results demonstrated that berberine attenuated Th1-mediated inflammation in OVA-induced DTH by curbing Th1 response and inhibiting cell apoptosis, suggesting a therapeutic potential for berberine for the treatment of type IV hypersensitivity.

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