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Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2012 Jun;34(3):391-7. doi: 10.3109/08923973.2011.609887.

Suppressive effect of berberine on experimental dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Jilin University, Changchun 130021, P. R. China.


The anti-inflammatory effect of berberine was evaluated in murine model of acute experimental colitis induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS). Berberine, given orally at 40, 20, 10 mg/kg for 10 days, ameliorated all the supposed inflammatory symptoms of the induced colitis, such as body weightloss, blood hemoglobin reduction, high myeloperoxidase levels, and malondialdehyde content-inflamed mucosa. Furthermore, the cytokine production of splenic lymphocytes was analyzed. The results showed the IFN-γ and IL-12 were increased, but IL-4 and IL-10 were decreased in DSS-induced colitis,when those were compared with the normal control. But the administration of berberine to DSS-induced colitis mice showed lower production of IFN-γ and IL-12 and higher production of IL-4 and IL-10 than the DSS-induced colitis mice. The results suggest that the protective effects of berberine against the DSS-induced colitis may be associated with the regulation of cytokine production.

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