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PLoS One. 2014 Dec 29;9(12):e115694. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115694. eCollection 2014.

Berberine protects against neuronal damage via suppression of glia-mediated inflammation in traumatic brain injury.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Cheng Hsin General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
2
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Taipei and College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
3
Departments of Physiology and Biophysics, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China; Graduate Institute of Life Sciences, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
4
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Cheng Hsin General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China; Departments of Physiology and Biophysics, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) triggers a series of neuroinflammatory processes that contribute to evolution of neuronal injury. The present study investigated the neuroprotective effects and anti-inflammatory actions of berberine, an isoquinoline alkaloid, in both in vitro and in vivo TBI models. Mice subjected to controlled cortical impact injury were injected with berberine (10 mg·kg(-1)) or vehicle 10 min after injury. In addition to behavioral studies and histology analysis, blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability and brain water content were determined. Expression of PI3K/Akt and Erk signaling and inflammatory mediators were also analyzed. The protective effect of berberine was also investigated in cultured neurons either subjected to stretch injury or exposed to conditioned media with activated microglia. Berberine significantly attenuated functional deficits and brain damage associated with TBI up to day 28 post-injury. Berberine also reduced neuronal death, apoptosis, BBB permeability, and brain edema at day 1 post-injury. These changes coincided with a marked reduction in leukocyte infiltration, microglial activation, matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity, and expression of inflammatory mediators. Berberine had no effect on Akt or Erk 1/2 phosphorylation. In mixed glial cultures, berberine reduced TLR4/MyD88/NF-κB signaling. Berberine also attenuated neuronal death induced by microglial conditioned media; however, it did not directly protect cultured neurons subjected to stretch injury. Moreover, administration of berberine at 3 h post-injury also reduced TBI-induced neuronal damage, apoptosis and inflammation in vivo. Berberine reduces TBI-induced brain damage by limiting the production of inflammatory mediators by glial cells, rather than by a direct neuroprotective effect.

PMID:
25546475
PMCID:
PMC4278716
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0115694
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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