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Biochemical profiling of berberine-enriched extract in aluminum chloride induced oxidative damage and neuroinflammation.

  • Akash, Muhammad Sajid Hamid1
  • Akbar, Moazzama2
  • Rehman, Kanwal3
  • Shah, Muhammad Ajmal4
  • Panichayupakaranant, Pharkphoom5
  • Imran, Muhammad6, 7
  • Assiri, Mohammed A6, 7
  • 1 Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan. , (Pakistan)
  • 2 Department of Pharmacy, The University of Faisalabad, Faisalabad, Pakistan. , (Pakistan)
  • 3 Department of Pharmacy, The Women University, Multan, Pakistan. [email protected]. , (Pakistan)
  • 4 Department of Pharmacy, Hazara University, Mansehra, Pakistan. , (Pakistan)
  • 5 Department of Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Botany, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prince of Songkla University, Hat-Yai, Thailand. , (Thailand)
  • 6 Research Center for Advanced Materials Science (RCAMS), King Khalid University, Abha, 62413, Saudi Arabia. , (Saudi Arabia)
  • 7 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, King Khalid University, Abha, 62413, Saudi Arabia. , (Saudi Arabia)
Published Article
Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2023
DOI: 10.1007/s11356-023-28392-1
PMID: 37380861


Despite the numerous treatment strategies used for Alzheimer's disease (AD), only a few cholinesterase inhibitor drugs, such as memantine, are effective in symptomatically relieving the hallmarks of AD, providing momentary recovery of memory and cognitive decline. These available drugs do not treat the underlying causes of AD, and their chronic use is associated with serious adverse effects and disease progression. Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid that has been reported to possess therapeutic potential against AD. Therefore, its activity was evaluated against an aluminum chloride (AlCl3)-induced AD rat model, and a berberine-enriched extract (BEE) was used to determine if its activity is equivalent to pure berberine (PB). The rats were administered 300 mg/kg of oral AlCl3 to induce AD and were then treated with oral PB at a dosage of 50 mg/kg, BEE at a dosage of 50 mg/kg, and rivastigmine at a dosage of 1 mg/kg as a standard drug for 21 days. In this study, various parameters were assessed to evaluate cognitive functions, such as behavioral analysis, antioxidant enzyme levels, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity, proinflammatory cytokine levels, real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of different biomarkers (AChE, IL-1α, IL-1β, BACE-1, TNF-α) linked to AD, and histopathological changes in the rats' brains. After 21 days, the disease control group showed a significant decline in cognitive function, decreased levels of antioxidant enzymes, upregulated activity of the AChE enzyme, increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines, and marked elevation in mRNA expression of AD-associated biomarkers. On the other hand, the treatment groups showed significant improvements in memory deficits, elevated levels of antioxidant enzymes, reduced levels of proinflammatory cytokines, decreased AChE activity, and significant downregulation of the expression of predefined biomarkers. Histological examination of the treatment groups showed less neuroinflammation and fewer amyloid plaques compared to the disease control group. In conclusion, both PB and BEE have comparable neuroprotective potential to mitigate the pathological hallmarks of AD. However, controlled clinical trials are needed to assess their efficacy and safety. © 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

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