Abstract Title:

Effect of berberine on expression of hepatocyte nuclear factor-4alpha in rats with fructose-induced insulin resistance.

Abstract Source:

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2006 Oct 1;216(1):11-9. Epub 2006 May 17. PMID: 18563319

Abstract Author(s):

Zhiqiang Gao, Sanhua Leng, Fuer Lu, Meijuan Xie, Lijun Xu, Kaifu Wang


The effects of berberine on the expression of hepatocyte nuclear factor-4alpha (HNF-4alpha) in liver of rats with fructose-induced insulin resistance and the molecular mechanism of berberine preventing insulin resistance were investigated. The experimental animals were divided into two groups of 16 animals each. The control group received a control routine diet containing 60% carbohydrate, and the study group a high-fructose diet containing 60% fructose as the sole source of carbohydrate. At the end of 6 weeks these were each subdivided into two groups. One was administered with berberine [187.5 mg/(kg x d) in 5 g/L carboxymethyl cellulose] by intragastric intubation and the other group was treated with a vehicle (5 g/L carboxymethyl cellulose). The rats were fed on the same dietary regimen for the next 4 weeks. After the experimental period of 10 weeks, plasma glucose, insulin and triglyceride levels were measured. HOMA insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR) was assayed. Immunohistochemistry, semiquantitative RT-PCR and western blot were used to detect the expression of HNF-4alpha in liver. Compared with control diet, fructose feeding induced hyperinsulinemia, HOMA-IR and increased triglyceride (all P<0.01). Berberine prevented the rise in plasma insulin (P<0.01), HOMA-IR (P<0.01) and triglyceride (P<0.05) in the fructose-fed rats. No change in plasma glucose was seen among these groups. The mRNA and protein expression of HNF-4alpha was decreased in the fructose-fed rats, but berberine could promote its expression. It was concluded that berberine could prevent fructose-induced insulin resistance in rats possibly by promoting the expression HNF-4alpha in liver.

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