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J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Dec 12;150(3):1128-36. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.10.039. Epub 2013 Oct 30.

Berberine improves neurogenic contractile response of bladder detrusor muscle in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

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School of Pharmacy, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, PR China.



Coptidis Rhizoma has been used to treat diabetes mellitus for more than 1400 years in China. Berberine, one of the main alkaloids of Coptidis Rhizoma, is a principal antidiabetic component of Coptidis Rhizoma. To investigate the effects of berberine on impaired neurogenic contractility of detrusor muscle from urinary bladder of rats with early stage diabetes.


The detrusor muscle strips were isolated from urinary bladders of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats, 5% sucrose-induced diuretic rats or normal rats, and were placed in organ bath. The contractions induced by electrical field stimulation (EFS), carbachol, KCl, adenosine triphosphate, and the effects of berberine on those contractions were measured.


The EFS- or KCl-induced contraction of detrusor muscle was significantly decreased in diabetic rats as compared with diuretic or normal rats. Atropine and suramin inhibited EFS-induced contraction. In diabetic rats, the atropine sensitive components were decreased in EFS-induced contraction of detrusor muscle, and the adenosine triphosphate-induced contraction was significantly increased. The carbachol-induced contrations were not different among groups. Berberine significantly potentiated EFS-induced contractions of detrusor muscle both from normal and diabetic rats, but the potentiated effect of BBR was more sensitive to atropine in diabetic rats. Berberine also potentiated adenosine triphosphate-induced contraction of detrusor muscle, but did not change carbachol- or KCl-induced contraction.


The neurogenic contraction of urinary bladder detrusor muscle is decreased while purinergic contraction of bladder detrusor muscle is increased in rats with early stage diabetes. Berberine increases the neurogenic contractile response to EFS possibly via both presynaptic increasing neurotransmitters release and postsynaptic potentiation of purinergic transmitter-regulated response in rat urinary bladder detrusor; and in diabetic rats, berberine increases neurogenic contractile response mainly via the presynaptic increasing acetylcholine release.


ACh; ANOVA; ATP; BBR; Berberine; CRC; Contractile response; DCP; DM; Diabetic cystopathy; Diabetic rat; EFS; Electric field stimulation; FRC; Krebs–Henseleit; K–H; NANC; STZ; TTX; Urinary bladder detrusor; acetylcholine; adenosine triphosphate disodium salt; analysis of variance; berberine; concentration-response curve; diabetes mellitus; electric field stimulation; frequency-response curve; nonadrenergic noncholinergic; streptozotocin; tetrodotoxin

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