Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

Berberine exerts a protective effect on rats with polycystic ovary syndrome by inhibiting the inflammatory response and cell apoptosis.

Abstract Source:

Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2021 Jan 7 ;19(1):3. Epub 2021 Jan 7. PMID: 33407557

Abstract Author(s):

Hao-Ran Shen, Xiao Xu, Xue-Lian Li

Article Affiliation:

Hao-Ran Shen


BACKGROUND: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disease of the female reproductive system that seriously affects women's health. Berberine (BBR) has many pharmacological properties and is used as an insulin sensitizer. This study aimed to investigate the effect of BBR on PCOS and explore its related mechanisms.

METHODS: Forty-two rats were randomly divided into the following six groups (n = 7 per group): control, control + BBR, PCOS-normal diet (ND), PCOS-ND + BBR, PCOS-high-fat diet (HFD), and PCOS-HFD + BBR. The PCOS rat models were established by injecting rats with dehydroepiandrosterone. Further, the rats were gavaged with BBR (150 mg/kg/d) for 6 weeks. Then, thebody weight, HOMA-IR, and testosterone levels of all rats were determined. Cell apoptosis of ovary granulosa cells was determined by a TUNEL assay kit. Real-time quantification PCR (RT-qPCR) and western blotting were utilized to evaluate the expression of TLR4, LYN, PI3K, Akt, NF-kB, TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6, and caspase-3.

RESULTS: BBR reduced the levels of insulin resistance and testosterone in PCOS rats. Additionally, the cell apoptosis rate increased significantly in PCOS rats (P < 0.05) and decreased after BBR treatment (P < 0.05). The results of RT-qPCR and western blotting showed that the expression levels of TLR4, LYN, PI3K, Akt, NF-kB, TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6, and caspase-3 significantly increased in PCOS rats, while BBR suppressed their expression levels.

CONCLUSIONS: BBR may relieve PCOS pathology and IR values by inhibiting cell apoptosis and by regulating the expression levels of TLR4, LYN, PI3K, Akt, NF-kB, TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6, and caspase-3.

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