Abstract Title:

Berberine-mediated up-regulation of surfactant protein D facilitates cartilage repair by modulating immune responses via the inhibition of TLR4/NF-ĸB signaling.

Abstract Source:

Pharmacol Res. 2020 Feb 11:104690. Epub 2020 Feb 11. PMID: 32057894

Abstract Author(s):

Yan Zhou, Jianghua Ming, Ming Deng, Yaming Li, Bochun Li, Jia Li, Yonggang Ma, Zhonghui Chen, Shiqing Liu

Article Affiliation:

Yan Zhou


The innate immune system drives inflammatory joint damage in osteoarthritis (OA) and regulates cartilage repair. Berberine chloride (BBR) is an isoquinoline alkaloid that shows immunomodulatory activity in a variety of cell lines. However, the immunomodulatory mechanisms of BBR in chondrocytes during OA are largely unknown. Herein, we assessed the ability of BBR to mediate chondroprotection through its effects on innate immunity. We found that BBR up-regulated the expression of surfactant protein D (SP-D) in OA cartilage, a key regulator of inflammation and innate immunity both in the airways and extrapulmonary tissues, including joint cartilage. To further explore these findings, we used recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV)-mediated knockdown of SP-D. Silencing was assessed in rat model of surgically-induced OA in the presence or absence of BBR treatment, 10 weeks post-surgery. We observed a clear improvement in histological scores of BBR-treated animals compared to those treated with BBR and the rAAV-SP-D vector. In addition, animals co-treated with BBR + recombinant human SP-D (rhSP-D) exhibited significantly lower histological scores than those treated with BBR alone. BBR treatment led to significantly reduced immune cell infiltration mediated through TLR4, F4/80, CD68 and CD34, whilst SP-D silencing reversed this improvement. In contrast, rhSP-D treatment enhanced the protective phenotype. We further explored how BBR influences SP-D and other OA-associated genes in vitro. We observed an up-regulation of SP-D and a marked decline in TRAF6, TLR4, MD-2 and MyD88 expression, as well as NF-κB p65 and IκBα phosphorylation in chondrocytestreated with sodium nitroprusside. siRNAs specific for SP-D were able to partially reverse this phenotype, whilst both rhSP-D and the TLR4 inhibitor TAK-242 enhanced the effects. Together, these results are consistent with a model wherein SP-D has therapeutic potential for OA treatment. Concomitantly, BBR modulates immune responses and decreases cartilage degradation. These findings suggest that BBR achieves this function through releasing SP-D from MD2/SP-D complexes and through the inhibition of TLR4/NF-κB signaling.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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