Can berberine enhance glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in rat islets?

Nov 03, 2008

The therapeutical actions of berberine on diabetes have been well studied. Previous researches show that berberine modulates cholesterol through increasing low-density lipoprotein receptor mRNA stability, reduces body adiposity and increases insulin sensitivity partly through activating AMP-activated protein kinase and improves glucose metabolism via induction of glycolysis. Yet, the underlying mechanism for berberine promoting insulin release remains unclear.

A research article to be published on October 21, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team was directed by Prof. Lu from Institute of integrative traditional and western medicine of Tongji medical college.

Using glucose-stimulated insulin secretion assay, the authors first examined the action of berberine on insulin secretion. Further, the authors detected the expression of HNF4 alpha on both gene and protein levels to examine if HNF4 alpha a candidate target of berberine. The role of HNF4 alpha in mediating berberine's insulinotropic effect was further elucidated by determining the activity of Glucokinase, the "Glucose Sensor" in pancreatic beta cell, which is also deemed as one of the downstream targets of the HNFs transcription regulatory circuit in pancreatic islets.

The results demonstrate that berberine only exerts insulinotropic effect in the high glucose condition, and berberine could enhance HNF4 alpha expression and GK activity dose-dependently.

The data of the research strongly suggested a correlation among insulin secretion, HNF4α expression and GK activity. The article proposes that berberine might facilitate glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in a pathway involving HNF4 alpha, which subsequently modulats the downstream targets such as glucokinase, resulting in increased sensitivity of beta cell to glucose challenge and insulin release.

Source: World Journal of Gastroenterology

Explore further: Human brain has coping mechanism for dehydration

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Shocking' underground water loss in US drought

28 minutes ago

A major drought across the western United States has sapped underground water resources, posing a greater threat to the water supply than previously understood, scientists said Thursday.

Study shows role of media in sharing life events

1 hour ago

To share is human. And the means to share personal news—good and bad—have exploded over the last decade, particularly social media and texting. But until now, all research about what is known as "social sharing," or the ...

The microbes make the sake brewery

1 hour ago

A sake brewery has its own microbial terroir, meaning the microbial populations found on surfaces in the facility resemble those found in the product, creating the final flavor according to research published ahead of print ...

New approach to form non-equilibrium structures

1 hour ago

Although most natural and synthetic processes prefer to settle into equilibrium—a state of unchanging balance without potential or energy—it is within the realm of non-equilibrium conditions where new possibilities lie. ...

Recommended for you

Diet affects men's and women's gut microbes differently

2 hours ago

The microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and six other institutions published ...

Researchers explore what happens when heart cells fail

4 hours ago

Through a grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Naomi Chesler will embark upon a new collaborative research project to better understand ...

Stem cells from nerves form teeth

6 hours ago

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that stem cells inside the soft tissues of the tooth come from an unexpected source, namely nerves. These findings are now being published in the journal Nature and co ...

User comments : 0