Berberine Improves Glucose Metabolism in Diabetic Rats by Inhibition of Hepatic Gluconeogenesis

University of Hong Kong, China
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 02/2011; 6(2):e16556. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016556
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Berberine (BBR) is a compound originally identified in a Chinese herbal medicine Huanglian (Coptis chinensis French). It improves glucose metabolism in type 2 diabetic patients. The mechanisms involve in activation of adenosine monophosphate activated protein kinase (AMPK) and improvement of insulin sensitivity. However, it is not clear if BBR reduces blood glucose through other mechanism. In this study, we addressed this issue by examining liver response to BBR in diabetic rats, in which hyperglycemia was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats by high fat diet. We observed that BBR decreased fasting glucose significantly. Gluconeogenic genes, Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and Glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase), were decreased in liver by BBR. Hepatic steatosis was also reduced by BBR and expression of fatty acid synthase (FAS) was inhibited in liver. Activities of transcription factors including Forkhead transcription factor O1 (FoxO1), sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c (SREBP1) and carbohydrate responsive element-binding protein (ChREBP) were decreased. Insulin signaling pathway was not altered in the liver. In cultured hepatocytes, BBR inhibited oxygen consumption and reduced intracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) level. The data suggest that BBR improves fasting blood glucose by direct inhibition of gluconeogenesis in liver. This activity is not dependent on insulin action. The gluconeogenic inhibition is likely a result of mitochondria inhibition by BBR. The observation supports that BBR improves glucose metabolism through an insulin-independent pathway.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aging individuals and diabetic patients often exhibit concomitant reductions of skeletal muscle mass/strength and insulin sensitivity, suggesting an intimate link between muscle aging and insulin resistance. Foxo1, a member of the FOXO transcription factor family, is an important player in insulin signaling due to its inhibitory role in glucose uptake and utilization in skeletal muscle. Phosphorylation of Foxo1 is thought to mitigate the transactivation of pyruvate dehydrogenase lipoamide kinase 4 (PDK4), which is a negative regulator of the glycolytic enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH). In contrast, how aging would regulate acetylation/deacetylation machineries and glucose utilization in skeletal muscle through the Foxo1/PDH axis remains largely undetermined. Accumulating body of evidence have shown that resveratrol, a natural polyphenol in grapes and red wine, activates the longevity-related protein sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and augments insulin sensitivity in addition to its well-documented effects on mitochondrial energetics. The present review summarizes the role of Foxo1/SIRT1 in insulin signaling in skeletal muscle and proposes the insight that activation of SIRT1 deacetylase activity to deacetylate and suppress the Foxo1-induced transactivation of PDK4 may represent an anti-hyperglycemic mechanism of resveratrol in aging skeletal muscle. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry 01/2015; 35(2):541-552. DOI:10.1159/000369718 · 3.55 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Type 1 diabetes mellitus results from autoimmune-mediated destruction of pancreatic islet β-cells, a process associated with inflammatory signals. We hypothesized that dietary supplementation with botanicals known to contain anti-inflammatory properties would prevent losses in functional β-cell mass in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice, a rodent model of autoimmune-mediated islet inflammation that spontaneously develops diabetes. Female NOD mice, a model of spontaneous autoimmune diabetes, were fed a diet supplemented with herbal extracts (1.916 g total botanical extracts per 1 kg of diet) over a 12-week period. The mice consumed isocaloric matched diets without (controls) and with polyherbal supplementation (PHS) ad libitum starting at a prediabetic stage (age 6 weeks) for 12 weeks. Control mice developed hyperglycemia (>180 mg/dL) within 16 weeks (n = 9). By contrast, mice receiving the PHS diet did not develop hyperglycemia by 18 weeks (n = 8). Insulin-positive cell mass within pancreatic islets was 31.9% greater in PHS mice relative to controls. We also detected a 26% decrease in CD3(+) lymphocytic infiltration in PHS mice relative to mice consuming a control diet. In vitro assays revealed reduced β-cell expression of the chemokines CCL2 and CXCL10 after overnight PHS addition to the culture media. We conclude that dietary PHS delays initiation of autoimmune-mediated β-cell destruction and subsequent onset of diabetes mellitus by diminishing islet inflammatory responses. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Metformin has been widely used as a first-line anti-diabetic medicine for the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2D). As a drug that primarily targets the liver, metformin suppresses hepatic glucose production (HGP), serving as the main mechanism by which metformin improves hyperglycemia of T2D. Biochemically, metformin suppresses gluconeogenesis and stimulates glycolysis. Metformin also inhibits glycogenolysis, which is a pathway that critically contributes to elevated HGP. While generating beneficial effects on hyperglycemia, metformin also improves insulin resistance and corrects dyslipidemia in patients with T2D. These beneficial effects of metformin implicate a role for metformin in managing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. As supported by the results from both human and animal studies, metformin improves hepatic steatosis and suppresses liver inflammation. Mechanistically, the beneficial effects of metformin on hepatic aspects are mediated through both adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-dependent and AMPK-independent pathways. In addition, metformin is generally safe and may also benefit patients with other chronic liver diseases.