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Abstract Title:

Effects and Mechanism of Berberine on the Dexamethasone-Induced Injury of Human Tendon Cells.

Abstract Source:

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2020 ;2020:8832218. Epub 2020 Nov 7. PMID: 33204294

Abstract Author(s):

Shangjun Fu, Zongyun He, Yongfeng Tang, Bo Lan

Article Affiliation:

Shangjun Fu

Abstract:

Objective: To investigate the effects of berberine (Berb) on dexamethasone- (Dex-) induced injury of human tendon cells and its potential mechanism.

Methods: CCK-8 assay was used to explore the appropriate concentration of Dex-induced injury of tendon cells and the doses of Berb attenuates Dex cytotoxicity; cell wound healing assay was used to detect the effects (<0.05) of Berb and Dex on the migration ability of tendon cells; flow cytometry was used to measure cell apoptosis; DCF DA fluorescent probe was used to measure the ROS activity of cells. Western blotting was used to detect the expression of phenotype related factors including smooth muscle actin(SMA-), type I collagen (Col I), col III, apoptosis-related factors, caspase-3, cleaved caspase-3, caspase-9, cleaved caspase-9, and PI3K/AKT.

Results: CCK-8 assay showed that 1-100 M Dex significantly inhibited the proliferation of tendon cells in a concentration-dependent manner (<0.05), where the inhibitory effect of 100 M Dex was most significant (<0.005), and the pretreatment of 150, 200 M Berb could reverse those inhibitions (all<0.05). Compared with the control group, Dex significantly inhibited cell migration (<0.05), while Berb pretreatment could enhance cell migration (<0.05). Flow cytometry and ROS assay showed that Dex could induce apoptosis and oxidative stress response of tendon cells (all<0.05), while Berb could reverse those responses (<0.05). Western blot showed that Dex could inhibit the expression of the col I and III as well as-SMA (all<0.05) and enhance the expression of apoptosis-related factors including cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved caspase-9 (all<0.05). Besides, Dex could also inhibit the activation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway (all<0.05), thus affecting cell function, while Berb treatment significantly reversed the expression of those above proteins (all<0.05).

Conclusion: Berb attenuated DEX induced reduction of proliferation and migration, oxidative stress, and apoptosis of tendon cells by activating the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway and regulated the expression of phenotype related biomarkers in tendon cells. However, further studies are still needed to clarify the protective effects of Berb in vivo.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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Sayer Ji
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