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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 363845, 9 pages
Research Article

Berberine Improves Insulin Sensitivity by Inhibiting Fat Store and Adjusting Adipokines Profile in Human Preadipocytes and Metabolic Syndrome Patients

1First Affiliated Hospital, Shanxi University of Medical, Taiyuan 030001, China
2Endocrine Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Health, Department of Endocrinology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, 1 Shuaifuyuan, Wangfujing, Beijing 100730, China

Received 9 October 2011; Revised 29 December 2011; Accepted 29 December 2011

Academic Editor: Hao Xu

Copyright © 2012 Jing Yang 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.


Berberine is known to inhibit the differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells in vitro, improve glycemic control, and attenuate dyslipidemia in clinical study. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of berberine on preadipocytes isolated from human omental fat and in metabolic syndrome patients treated with berberine for 3 months. We have shown that treatment with 10 μM berberine resulted in a major inhibition of human preadipocyte differentiation and leptin and adiponectin secretion accompanied by downregulation of PPARγ2, C/EBPα, adiponectin, and leptin mRNA expression. After 3 months of treatment, metabolic syndrome patients showed decrease in their BMI ( versus  kg/m2) and leptin levels (8.01 versus 5.12 μg/L), as well as leptin/adiponectin ratio and HOMA-IR. These results suggest that berberine improves insulin sensitivity by inhibiting fat store and adjusting adipokine profile in human preadipocytes and metabolic syndrome patients.