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Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Jan;49(1):61-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.09.032. Epub 2010 Oct 25.

Preventive effect of Coptis chinensis and berberine on intestinal injury in rats challenged with lipopolysaccharides.

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State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.

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  • Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 May;49(5):1193.


Coptis chinensis has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat inflammatory symptoms. Berberine is the main alkaloid compound of C. chinensis. This study utilized a typical lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injured model to investigate the effects of C. chinensis aqueous extract (CCAE) and berberine (major active ingredient in CCAE) in the gut-derived sepsis. In rats, pretreatment with different doses of berberine (30 or 120 mg/kg bw, i.g.; BBR30 or BBR120) or CCAE (containing 9.9% berberine; 300 mg/kg bw, i.g.; CCAE300) prior to the administration of LPS (20 mg/kg bw, i.p.) significantly suppressed the increased tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and nitrite oxide (NO) in plasma as well as the activation of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) in ileum. In addition, CCAE300 and BBR30 markedly elevated the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px); significantly prevented the increased malondialdehyde (MDA), NO and villi injury in ileum compared with the negative control. Collectively, CCAE300 and BBR30 reduced the LPS-induced intestinal damage by elevating the activities of SOD and GSH-Px and by suppressing the activation of TLR4 and NF-κB in ileum. These results indicate that CCAE and berberine are promising agents for preventing sepsis and its complications.

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