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Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:2503703. Epub 2016 Sep 5.

Effects of Berberine on NLRP3 and IL-1β Expressions in Monocytic THP-1 Cells with Monosodium Urate Crystals-Induced Inflammation.

Author information

1
Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1095 Jiefang Avenue, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, China; Department of Nephrology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, 1 Jianshe East Road, Zhengzhou, Henan 450052, China.
2
Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, 1 Huangjiahu West Road, Wuhan, Hubei 430065, China.
3
Institute of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1095 Jiefang Avenue, Wuhan, Hubei 430030, China.

Abstract

Background. Urate crystals-induced inflammation is a critical factor during the initiation of gouty arthritis. Berberine is well known for its anti-inflammatory activity. However, the underlying effects of berberine on monosodium urate crystals-induced inflammation remain obscure. Objectives. This study is set to explore the protective effect and mechanism of berberine on monosodium urate crystals-induced inflammation in human monocytic THP-1 cells. Methods. The mRNA levels of NLRP3 and IL-1β were measured by Real-Time PCR, and the protein levels of NLRP3 and IL-1β were determined by ELISA, Western blot, and immunofluorescence. Results. The NLRP3 and IL-1β expressions were significantly increased in model group compared to that in normal group (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, there was significant reduction in the expressions of NLRP3 and IL-1β mRNA in groups 6.25 μM berberine and 25 μM berberine when compared with model group (P < 0.05). Conclusions. Therefore, berberine alleviates monosodium urate crystals-induced inflammation by downregulating NLRP3 and IL-1β expressions. The regulatory effects of berberine may be related to the inactivation of NLRP3 inflammasome.

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