Abstract Title:

Neuroprotective effect of berberine against environmental heavy metals-induced neurotoxicity and Alzheimer's-like disease in rats.

Abstract Source:

Food Chem Toxicol. 2017 Nov 21 ;111:432-444. Epub 2017 Nov 21. PMID: 29170048

Abstract Author(s):

Hend M Hussien, Aml Abd-Elmegied, Doaa A Ghareeb, Hani S Hafez, Hany E A Ahmed, Nehad Abd El-Moneam

Article Affiliation:

Hend M Hussien


Heavy metals are reported as neurodegenerative disorders progenitor. They play a role in the precipitation of abnormalβ-amyloid protein and hyper-phosphorylated tau, the main hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The present study aimed to validate the heavy metals-induced Alzheimer's-like disease in rats as an experimental model of AD and explore the therapeutic effect of berberine via tracking its effect on theoxidative stress-inflammatory pathway. Alzheimer's-like disease was induced in rats orally by a mixture of aluminium, cadmium and fluoride for three months, followed by berberine treatment for another one month. Berberine significantly improved the cognitive behaviors in Morris water maze test andoffered a protective effect against heavy metals-induced memory impairment. Docking results showed that berberine inhibited AChE, COX-2 and TACE. Matching with in silico study, berberine downregulated the AChE expression and inhibited its activity in the brain tissues. Also, it normalized the production of TNF- α, IL-12, IL-6 and IL-1β. Moreover, it evoked the production of antioxidant Aβ40 and inhibited the formation of Aβ42, responsible for the aggregations of amyloid-β plaques. Histopathological examination confirmed the neuroprotective effect of berberine. The present data advocate the possible beneficial effect of berberine as therapeutic modality for Alzheimer's disease via its antiinflammatory/antioxidant mechanism.

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