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Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Mar 11;654(3):320-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2010.12.030. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

Amelioration effects of berberine on diabetic microendothelial injury model by the combination of high glucose and advanced glycation end products in vitro.

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Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116044, Liaoning, China.


Microvascular complications are much earlier and common in diabetes. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), together with high glucose, play a key role in the endothelial dysfunction of diabetic vascular complications. So it is of more significance to expedite the therapies to block the formation and/or the effects of AGEs. Berberine has been showed to have anti-diabetic effects, however the effects on diabetic complications were less explored, especially the effects on the microvascular complications and the formation and pathways of AGEs which have not been reported. Therefore, the present study established an in vitro model of diabetic microendothelial (microEC) injury by the combination of high glucose and AGEs to mimic the clinical situations and examine the effects and mechanisms of berberine on high glucose-AGEs-induced microEC injuries and on the formation of AGEs. We prepared AGEs, established the high glucose-AGEs injured microEC models by MTT assay, which was further supported by significantly decreased nitric oxide (NO) release, NO synthase (NOS) and thrombomodulin production with ELISA, western blot and RT-PCR analysis. Berberine treatments showed significant improvements as indicated by significantly increased NO release, NOS and thrombomodulin production. Moreover, we also observed significant inhibition effects of berberine on AGEs formation. We concluded that the in vitro model of diabetic microEC injury could be established by the combination treatments of high glucose and AGEs, while berberine could improve the diabetic microvascular injury in vitro and inhibit the formation of AGEs, suggesting the potential clinical therapies with berberine for diabetes and its vascular complications.

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