Berberine Protects against NEFA-Induced Impairment of Mitochondrial Respiratory Chain Function and Insulin Signaling in Bovine Hepatocytes

Published on Jun 6, 2018in International Journal of Molecular Sciences4.556
· DOI :10.3390/IJMS19061691
Zhen Shi10
Estimated H-index: 10
Xiaobing Li22
Estimated H-index: 22
+ 7 AuthorsXinwei Li23
Estimated H-index: 23
Fatty liver is a major lipid metabolic disease in perinatal dairy cows and is characterized by high blood levels of non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) and insulin resistance. Berberine (BBR) has been reported to improve insulin sensitivity in mice with hepatic steatosis. Mitochondrial dysfunction is considered a causal factor that induces insulin resistance. This study investigates the underlying mechanism and the beneficial effects of BBR on mitochondrial and insulin signaling in bovine hepatocytes. Revised quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (RQUICKI) of cows with fatty liver was significantly lower than that of healthy cows. Importantly, the Akt and GSK3β phosphorylation levels, protein levels of PGC-1α and four of the five representative subunits of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) were significantly decreased in cows with fatty liver using Western Blot analysis. In bovine hepatocytes, 1.2 mmol/L NEFA reduced insulin signaling and mitochondrial respiratory chain function, and 10 and 20 umol/L BBR restored these changes. Furthermore, activation of PGC-1α played the same beneficial effects of BBR on hepatocytes treated with NEFA. BBR treatment improves NEFA-impaired mitochondrial respiratory chain function and insulin signaling by increasing PGC-1α expression in hepatocytes, which provides a potential new strategy for the prevention and treatment of fatty liver in dairy cows.
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