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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 361847, 13 pages
Research Article

Berberine Reduces Neurotoxicity Related to Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis in Rats

1Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21511, Egypt
2Biotechnology Department, Zoology, Faculty of Science, Suez University, Suez, Egypt
3Department of Life Science Informatics, B-IT, LIMES Program Unit Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Dahlmannstraße 2, 53113 Bonn, Germany
4Pharmaceutical Organic Chemistry Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Al-Azhar University, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt
5Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry Department, Pharmacy College, Taibah University, Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah, Saudi Arabia
6Protein Research Department, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology Research Institute, City for Scientific Research & Technology Applications, Alexandria, Egypt
7Zewail City of Science and Technology, Helmy Institute for Medical Sciences, Center for Aging and Associated Diseases, Sheikh Zayed District, 6th of October City, Giza 12588, Egypt
8Medical Biotechnology Department, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology Research Institute, City for Scientific Research & Technology Applications, Alexandria, Egypt

Received 16 June 2015; Accepted 28 September 2015

Academic Editor: Yibin Feng

Copyright © 2015 Doaa A. Ghareeb 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 a plant alkaloid that has several pharmacological effects such as antioxidant, antilipidemic, and anti-inflammatory effects. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) triggers different aspects of disorders such as impaired endogenous lipid metabolism, hypercholesterolemia, oxidative stress, and neurotoxicity. In this study, we examined the mechanism by which NASH induces neurotoxicity and the protective effect of berberine against both NASH and its associated neurotoxicity. NASH induced rats showed significant impairments in lipid metabolism with increased serum triglycerides, cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). The NASH induced group also demonstrated a significant oxidative stress which is characterized by increased TBARs level and decreased antioxidant capacity such as GSH and SOD levels. Moreover, the NASH induction was associated with inflammation which was demonstrated by increased TNFα and nitric oxide levels. Hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia were observed in the NASH induced group. Also, our results showed a significant increase in the expression of the acetylcholine esterase (AChE) and amyloid beta precursor protein (AβPP). These changes were significantly correlated with decreased insulin degrading enzyme (IDE) and beta-amyloid40 (Aβ40) and increased beta-amyloid42 (Aβ42) in the hippocampal region. Daily administration of berberine (50 mg/kg) for three weeks ameliorated oxidative stress, inflammation, hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and the observed neurotoxicity.