Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Neurobiol. 2014 Apr;49(2):820-6. doi: 10.1007/s12035-013-8559-7. Epub 2013 Oct 10.

Berberine ameliorate oxidative stress and astrogliosis in the hippocampus of STZ-induced diabetic rats.

Author information

Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran,


Diabetes mellitus increases the risk of central nervous system (CNS) disorders such as stroke, seizures, dementia, and cognitive impairment. Berberine, a natural isoquinoline alkaloid, is reported to exhibit beneficial effect in various neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. Moreover, astrocytes are proving critical for normal CNS function, and alterations in their activity and impaired oxidative stress could contribute to diabetes-related cognitive dysfunction. Metabolic and oxidative insults often cause rapid changes in glial cells. Key indicators of this response are increased synthesis of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) as an astrocytic marker. Therefore, we examined the effects of berberine on glial reactivity of hippocampus in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats, using GFAP immunohistochemistry. Lipid peroxidation, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and nitrite levels were assessed as the parameters of oxidative stress. Eight weeks after diabetes induction, we observed increased numbers of GFAP(+) astrocytes immunostaining associated with increased lipid peroxidation, decreased superoxide dismutase activity, and elevated nitrite levels in the hippocampus of STZ-diabetic rats. In contrast, chronic treatment with berberine (50 and 100 mg/kg p.o. once daily) lowered hyperglycemia, reduced oxidative stress, and prevented the upregulation of GFAP in the brain of diabetic rats. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that the treatment with berberine resulted in an obvious reduction of oxidative stress and GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes in the hippocampus of STZ-induced diabetic rats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center