The therapeutic effects of berberine plus sitagliptin in a rat model of fatty liver disease

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Biosensor Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Molecular-Cellular Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinical Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Objective(s): Fatty liver disease (FLD) is a disorder related to accumulation of excess fat within the hepatocytes. In this study, the effects of Berberine, a natural compound, and Sitagliptin as a DPP-4 inhibitor, were observed in a rat model of FLD.
Materials and Methods: Forty male rats were divided into five groups (n=6) including the control group (normal food and water), high-fat group (high-fat diet (HF) for 6 weeks), Berberine group (HF with oral administration of Berberine at 150 mg/kg for 6 weeks), Sitagliptin group (HF with oral administration of Sitagliptin at 10 mg/kg for 6 weeks), and Berberine/ Sitagliptin group (HF diet within combination with oral administration of Berberine 75 mg/kg and Sitagliptin 5 mg/kg for 6 weeks). Animals were examined for weight gain, serum and hepatic biochemical parameters, tissue histology, expression of glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4) mRNA, and protein expression of Adiponectin receptor2 (AdipoR2) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and phoERK.
Results: The results showed that ALT, AST, lipid profile, insulin, glucose, MDA, and TNF-α were significantly improved in high-fat rats treated with Berberine/ Sitagliptin compared with HF and Sitagliptin, and Berberine alone groups. SOD and adiponectin levels in Berberine/ Sitagliptin group were also significantly increased compared with the other groups. Immunoblot analysis showed that the expression of pho-ERK/ERK was significantly decreased and expression of AdipoR2 significantly increased in the Berberine/ Sitagliptin group compared with other groups.
Conclusion: Co-administration of Berberine and Sitagliptin is an effective therapeutic regimen for conditions associated with hyperlipidemia.


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