Berberine promotes glucagon-like peptide-1 (7-36) amide secretion in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
J Endocrinol. 2009 Feb;200(2):159-65. Epub 2008 Nov 7. PMID: 18996945
Key Lab of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 210009, People's Republic of China.
Berberine (BBR), a hypoglycemic agent, has shown beneficial metabolic effects for anti-diabetes, but its precise mechanism was unclear. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is considered to be an important incretin that can decrease hyperglycemia in the gastrointestinal tract after meals. The aim of this study was to investigate whether BBR exerts its anti-diabetic effects via modulating GCG secretion. Diabetes-like rats induced by streptozotocin received BBR (120 mg/kg per day, i.g) for 5 weeks. Two hours following the last dose, the rats were anaesthetized and received 2.5 g/kg glucose by gavage. At 15-minute and 30-minute after glucose load, blood samples, pancreas, and intestines were obtained to measure insulin and GCG using ELISA kit. The number of L cells in the ileum and beta-cells in the pancreas were identified using immunohistology. The expression of proglucagon mRNA in the ileum was measured by RT-PCR. The results indicated that BBR treatment significantly increased GCG levels in plasma and intestine (P<0.05) accompanied with the increase of proglucagon mRNA expression and the number of L-cell compared with the controls (P<0.05). Furthermore, BBR increased insulin levels in plasma and pancreas as well as beta-cell number in pancreas. The data support the hypothesis that the anti-diabetic effects of BBR may partly result from enhancing GCG secretion.