Table of Contents
ISRN Endocrinology
Volume 2011, Article ID 519371, 8 pages
Research Article

Berberine Improves Glucose Homeostasis in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats in Association with Multiple Factors of Insulin Resistance

1National Research Council Canada, Institute for Nutrisciences and Health, Charlottetown, PE, Canada C1A 4P3
2Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Public Health College, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150081, China
3Institute of Public Health Inspection, Heilongjiang Province Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Harbin, Heilongjiang 150036, China
4Department of Pathology and Microbiology, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PE, Canada C1A 4P3

Received 3 August 2011; Accepted 5 September 2011

Academic Editor: C. Fürnsinn

Copyright © 2011 Yanfeng Chen 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.


The present study was carried out to determine the effect of berberine on glucose homeostasis and several biomarkers associated with insulin sensitivity in male Wistar rats with intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes. Rats with fasting blood glucose 16.7 mmol/L after 2 weeks of STZ injection were divided into two groups. One group was used as the diabetic control and another treated by gavage feeding with 100 mg/kg/d of berberine in water containing 0.5% carboxymethyl cellulose. A group of rats without receiving STZ was used as the normal control. After 7 weeks, berberine supplementation moderately but significantly lowered fasting blood glucose levels and improved oral glucose tolerance. Berberine lowered plasma free fatty acids and C-reactive protein levels without affecting plasma insulin levels. Diabetic rats treated with berberine showed significantly lower plasma triacylglycerol and cholesterol levels. Furthermore, berberine inhibited dipeptidyl peptidase-4 and protein tyrosine phosphatase-1B activities. In conclusion, berberine showed a dramatic effect of lowering blood cholesterol and triacylglycerols and improved moderately glucose homeostasis in STZ-induced diabetic rats in association with multiple factors related to insulin resistance.