Abstract Title:

Berbamine induced AMPK activation regulates mTOR/SREBP-1c axis and Nrf2/ARE pathway to allay lipid accumulation and oxidative stress in steatotic HepG2 cells.

Abstract Source:

Eur J Pharmacol. 2020 Jun 8:173244. Epub 2020 Jun 8. PMID: 32526241

Abstract Author(s):

Ankita Sharma, Sumit Kr Anand, Neha Singh, Upendra Nath Dwivedi, Poonam Kakkar

Article Affiliation:

Ankita Sharma


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is emanating as a global cataclysm. This study was designed to investigate the antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and fat metabolism-regulating potential of berbamine (BBM), a natural bis-benzylisoquinoline alkaloid. BBM attenuated intracellular lipid accumulation in oleic-acid exposed HepG2 cells (0.5 mM) by inhibiting fatty acid uptake, lipogenesis, and promoting fatty acid β-oxidation by activating AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α. Berbamine (5 μM) induced AMPK activation (P < 0.001) via LKB1 (Ser-428) and elevated AMP:ATP ratio (P < 0.001). AMPK activation negatively regulated mTOR and also constrained the nuclear translocation of SREBP-1c and inhibited the lipogenic proteins, stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD-1) and fatty acid synthase (FAS) (P < 0.001). BBM stimulated nuclear translocation of redox-sensitive nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) and increased hepatic expression of Nrf2 responsive enzymes, HO-1 and Nqo-1. BBM treatment reduced the oxidative burst and pro-inflammatory responses by significantly enhancing hepatic antioxidant defenses [SOD (P < 0.001), catalase (P < 0.001) and cellular glutathione (P < 0.01)] and diminishing NF-κB regulated proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, and IL-6) levels respectively. TEM analysis confirmed the disruption of mitochondrial structure and reduction in mitochondrial size (50.97%, P < 0.001) in steatotic HepG2 cells which was significantly prevented by 5 μM BBM treatment (71.84% as compared to control, P < 0.01). Pre-treatment of Compound C (AMPK inhibitor, 25 μM) greatly repressed the anti-steatotic properties exhibited by BBM confirming the involvement of AMPK signaling pathway. In summary, the results manifest that BBM reduces intracellular lipid accumulation via AMPK/mTOR/SREBP-1c axis mediated regulation of lipid metabolism and upsurged nuclear stability of Nrf2 by promoting AMPK/Nrf2 association to ameliorate oxidative stress/proinflammatory response.

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