The Korean journal of physiology & pharmacology : official journal of the Korean Physiological Society and the Korean Society of Pharmacology

Berberine Prevents Intestinal Mucosal Barrier Damage During Early Phase of Sepsis in Rat through the Toll-Like Receptors Signaling Pathway.

PMID 25605990


Our previous study has shown berberine prevents damage to the intestinal mucosal barrier during early phase of sepsis in rat through mechanisms independent of the NOD-like receptors signaling pathway. In this study, we explored the regulatory effects of berberine on Toll-like receptors during the intestinal mucosal damaging process in rats. Male Sprague-Dawlay (SD) rats were treated with berberine for 5 d before undergoing cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) to induce polymicrobial sepsis. The expression of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR 2), TLR 4, TLR 9, the activity of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), the levels of selected cytokines and chemokines, percentage of cell death in intestinal epithelial cells, and mucosal permeability were investigated at 0, 2, 6, 12 and 24 h after CLP. Results showed that the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α ) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) level were significantly lower in berberine-treated rats compared to the control animals. Conversely, the expression level of tight junction proteins, percentage of cell death in intestinal epithelial cells and the mucosal permeability were significantly higher in berberine-treated rats. The mRNA expression of TLR 2, TLR 4, and TLR 9 were significantly affected by berberine treatment. Our results indicate that pretreatment with berberine attenuates tissue injury and protects the intestinal mucosal barrier in early phase of sepsis and this may possibly have been mediated through the TLRs pathway.