Send to

Choose Destination
Apoptosis. 2014 Jun;19(6):946-57. doi: 10.1007/s10495-014-0977-0.

Berberine reduces ischemia/reperfusion-induced myocardial apoptosis via activating AMPK and PI3K-Akt signaling in diabetic rats.

Author information

Department of Physiology, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, 710032, China.


Diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Berberine (BBR), an isoquinoline alkaloid used in Chinese medicine, exerts anti-diabetic effect by lowering blood glucose and regulating lipid metabolism. It has been reported that BBR decreases mortality in patients with chronic congestive heart failure. However, the molecular mechanisms of these beneficial effects are incompletely understood. In the present study, we sought to determine whether BBR exerts cardioprotective effect against ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in diabetic rats and the underlying mechanisms. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were injected with low dose streptozotocin and fed with a high-fat diet for 12 weeks to induce diabetes. The diabetic rats were intragastrically administered with saline or BBR (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg/d) starting from week 9 to 12. At the end of week 12, all rats were subjected to 30 min of myocardial ischemia and 3 h of reperfusion. BBR significantly improved the recovery of cardiac systolic/diastolic function and reduced myocardial apoptosis in diabetic rats subjected to myocardial I/R. Furthermore, in cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes, BBR (50 ╬╝mol/L) reduced hypoxia/reoxygenation-induced myocardial apoptosis, increased Bcl-2/Bax ratio and decreased caspase-3 expression, together with enhanced activation of PI3K-Akt and increased adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and eNOS phosphorylation. Pretreatment with either PI3K/Akt inhibitor wortmannin or AMPK inhibitor Compound C blunted the anti-apoptotic effect of BBR. Our findings demonstrate that BBR exerts anti-apoptotic effect and improves cardiac functional recovery following myocardial I/R via activating AMPK and PI3K-Akt-eNOS signaling in diabetic rats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center