Abstract Title:

Regulation of hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis by berberine during hyperhomocysteinemia.

Abstract Source:

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2010 Dec 22. Epub 2010 Dec 22. PMID: 21178122

Abstract Author(s):

Nan Wu, Lindsei K Sarna, Yaw L Siow, Karmin O

Article Affiliation:

1St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre.


Hyperhomocysteinemia, an elevation of blood homocysteine levels, is a metabolic disorder associated with dysfunction of multiple organs. We previously demonstrated that hyperhomocysteinemia stimulated hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase leading to hepatic lipid accumulation and liver injury. The liver plays an important role in cholesterol biosynthesis and overall homeostasis. The HMG-CoA reductase catalyzes the rate-limiting step in cholesterol biosynthesis. Hepatic HMG-CoA reductase is a major target for lowering cholesterol levels in patients with hypercholesterolemia. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of berberine, a plant-derived alkaloid, on hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis in hyperhomocysteinemic rats and to identify the underlying mechanism. Hyperhomocysteinemia was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats by feeding a high-methionine diet for 4 weeks. HMG-CoA reductase activity was markedly elevated in the liver of hyperhomocysteinemic rats, which was accompanied by hepatic lipid accumulation. Activation of HMG-CoA reductase was due to an increase in its gene expression and a reduction in its phophorylation (an inactive form of the enzyme). Treatment of hyperhomocysteinemic rats with berberine for 5 days inhibited HMG-CoA reductase activity and reduced hepatic cholesterol content. Such an inhibitory effect was mediated by increased phosphorylation of HMG-CoA reductase. Berberine treatment also improved liver function. These results suggest that berberine regulates hepatic cholesterol biosynthesis via increased phosphorylation of HMG-CoA reductase. Berberine may be therapeutically useful for the management of cholesterol homeostasis.

Study Type : Animal Study

Print Options

Key Research Topics

Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

Subscribe to our informative Newsletter & get Nature's Evidence-Based Pharmacy

Our newsletter serves 500,000 with essential news, research & healthy tips, daily.

Download Now

500+ pages of Natural Medicine Alternatives and Information.

This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

© Copyright 2008-2022 GreenMedInfo.com, Journal Articles copyright of original owners, MeSH copyright NLM.