Berberine, an alkaloid isolated from Chinese medicinal herbs, long been known for its anti-microbial activity and used to treat various infectious disorders in traditional Chinese medicine. In the present study, we have tested the hypothesis that berberine could inhibit vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation as it did in endothelial cells or cancer cells. Our results show that berberine significantly inhibits growth factor, mainly angiotensin II (AngII) and heparin binding epidermal growth factor (HB-EGF), induced VSMC proliferation and migration in vitro, and this effect is achieved by delaying or partially suppressing activation of Akt pathway rather than ERK pathway. Furthermore, we have examined its effect in vivo using a rat carotid artery injury model. A 28 days of chronic berberine treatment using an osmotic pump (100 μg kg-1 d-1, 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the injury) improved neointima formation. The Neointima/Media ratio for control group and berberine treated group were 1.14 ± 0.11 and 0.85 ± 0.06 (p < 0.05), respectively, and the reduction was approximately 25%. The result of the present study suggests a possibility of berberine being a potent agent to control restenosis after balloon angioplasty and warrants further study to gain a more complete understanding of its underlying mechanisms at a cellular level.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2006 May|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine