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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 2503703, 7 pages
Research Article

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

1Institute 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
2Department of Nephrology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, 1 Jianshe East Road, Zhengzhou, Henan 450052, China
3Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, 1 Huangjiahu West Road, Wuhan, Hubei 430065, China

Received 20 June 2016; Accepted 31 July 2016

Academic Editor: Sadiq Umar

Copyright © 2016 Ya-Fei Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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 (). 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 (). 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.