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Phytother Res. 2016 May;30(5):823-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5587. Epub 2016 Feb 16.

Metabolomics Study of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and the AntiDiabetic Effect of Berberine in Zucker Diabetic Fatty Rats Using Uplc-ESI-Hdms.

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Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, No. 548, Binwen Road, Hangzhou, 310053, China.
Department of Medicine, Zhejiang Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, No. 132, Tianmushan Road, Hangzhou, 310007, China.
Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Xixi Campus, No. 148, Tianmushan Road, Hangzhou, 310028, China.


The present study aimed to evaluate the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and the anti-diabetic effect of berberine in Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats. A urinary metabolomics analysis was performed with ultra-performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization synapt high-definition mass spectrometry. Pattern recognition approaches were integrated to discover differentiating metabolites. We identified 29 ions (13 in negative mode and 16 in positive mode) as 'differentiating metabolites' with this metabolomic approach. A functional pathway analysis revealed that the alterations were mainly associated with glyoxylate and dicarboxylate metabolism, pentose and glucuronate interconversions and sphingolipid metabolism. These results indicated that the dysfunctions of glycometabolism and lipometabolism are involved in the pathological process of T2DM. Berberine could decrease the serum levels of glycosylated hemoglobin, total cholesterol and triglyceride and increase the secretion of insulin. The urinary metabolomics analysis showed that berberine could reduce the concentrations of citric acid, tetrahydrocortisol, ribothymidine and sphinganine to a near-normal state. These results suggested that the anti-diabetic effect of berberine occurred mainly via its regulation of glycometabolism and lipometabolism and activation of adenosine 5'-monophosphate-activated protein kinase. Our work not only provides a better understanding of the anti-diabetic effect of berberine in ZDF rats but also supplies a useful database for further study in humans and for investigating the pharmacological actions of drugs.


UPLC-ESI-HDMS; Zucker diabetic fatty rats; berberine; metabolomics; pattern recognition approach; type 2 diabetes

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