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Thread: Berberine

  1. #1
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    I thought this might be of interest;

    1: Neuroscience. 2006 Nov 3;142(4):953-61. Epub 2006 Aug 24. Links

    Inhibitory effects of berberine against morphine-induced locomotor sensitization and analgesic tolerance in mice.Yoo JH, Yang EM, Cho JH, Lee JH, Jeong SM, Nah SY, Kim HC, Kim KW, Kim SH, Lee SY, Jang CG.

    Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Republic of Korea.

    We previously reported that a methanolic extract of Coptis japonica, which is a well-known traditional oriental medicine, inhibits morphine-induced conditioned place preference (CPP) in mice. Berberine is a major component of Coptis japonica extract, and it has been established that the adverse effects of morphine on the brain involve dopamine (DA) receptors. However, to our knowledge, no study has investigated the inhibitory effects of berberine on morphine-induced locomotor sensitization and analgesic tolerance in mice. Here, we investigated the effects of berberine on morphine-induced locomotor sensitization and on the development of analgesic tolerance. Furthermore, we examined the effects of berberine treatment on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor channel activity expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Berberine was found to completely block both morphine-induced locomotor sensitization and analgesic tolerance, and reduce D(1) and NMDA receptor bindings in the cortex. Moreover, berberine markedly inhibited NMDA current in Xenopus laevis oocytes expressing NMDA receptor subunits. Our results suggest that the inhibitory effects of berberine on morphine-induced locomotor sensitization and analgesic tolerance are closely related to the modulation of D1 and NMDA receptors, and that berberine should be viewed as a potential novel means of attenuating morphine-induced sensitization and analgesic tolerance.

    PMID: 16934942 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    Although were only talking mice, another study had shown antidepressant effects also in mice;

    1: Eur J Pharmacol. 2007 Aug 13;569(1-2):77-83. Epub 2007 May 22. Links

    Possible involvement of l-arginine-nitric oxide (NO)-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) signaling pathway in the antidepressant activity of berberine chloride.Kulkarni SK, Dhir A.

    Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid isolated from Berberis aristata, a major herb widely used in Indian and Chinese systems of medicine. Berberine possessed a wide range of biological activity including antidiarrheal, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory effects and some central nervous system activity as well. The present study was designed to explore the antidepressant activity and its possible mechanism of action. Further, the involvement of l-arginine-nitric oxide (NO)-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) signaling pathway in the antidepressant action of berberine chloride was investigated. The antidepressant activity was assessed in forced-swim and tail-suspension tests. Total immobility period was recorded during a six-min test. Berberine (5-20 mg/kg, i.p.) produced a reduction in immobility period in both the tests. When berberine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) was co-administered with other antidepressant drugs, it enhanced the anti-immobility effect of subeffective doses of imipramine (2 mg/kg, i.p.), desipramine (5 mg/kg, i.p.), tranylcypromine (4 mg/kg, i.p.), fluoxetine (5 mg/kg, i.p.), venlafaxine (2 mg/kg, i.p.) or bupropion (10 mg/kg, i.p.) in forced-swim test. However, berberine did not modify the effects of mianserine (32 mg/kg, i.p.) or trazodone (2 mg/kg, i.p.), the two atypical antidepressant drugs. The neurochemical analysis revealed that berberine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) increased the levels of norepinephrine, serotonin or dopamine in the mouse whole brain. The antidepressant-like effect of berberine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) in forced-swim test was prevented by pretreatment with l-arginine (750 mg/kg, i.p.) [substrate for nitric oxide synthase (NOS)]. Pretreatment of mice with 7-nitroindazole (25 mg/kg, i.p.) [a specific neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) inhibitor] produced potentiation of the action of subeffective dose of berberine (2 mg/kg, i.p.). In addition, treatment of mice with methylene blue (10 mg/kg, i.p.) [direct inhibitor of both nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC)] potentiated the effect of berberine (2 mg/kg, i.p.) in the forced-swim test. Furthermore, the reduction in the immobility period elicited by berberine (5 mg/kg, i.p.) was also inhibited by pretreatment with sildenafil (5 mg/kg, i.p.) [phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor]. The various modulators and their combination with berberine did not produce any changes in locomotor activity. Our findings demonstrated that berberine exerted antidepressant-like effect in various behavioural paradigms of despair possibly by modulating brain biogenic amines (norepinephrine, serotonin or dopamine) and further, the antidepressant-like effect of berberine in the forced-swim test involved an interaction with the l-arginine-NO-cGMP pathway.

    PMID: 17585901 [PubMed - in process]

    (Very) large doses have the opposite effect on monoamines;

    1: Life Sci. 2004 Oct 1;75(20):2451-62. Links

    Anxiolytic effect of berberine on exploratory activity of the mouse in two experimental anxiety models: interaction with drugs acting at 5-HT receptors.Peng WH, Wu CR, Chen CS, Chen CF, Leu ZC, Hsieh MT.

    Graduated Institute of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences, China Medical University, 91 Hsueh Shih Rd., Taichung 404, Taiwan, ROC.

    The aim of this study was to assess the anxiolytic effect of berberine (abbrev. BER) using two experimental anxiety models in the mouse. In the black and white test of anxiety, berberine (100, 500 mg/kg) produced an increase in the first time entry, time spent in the white section, and total changes between two compartments. On the other hand, in the elevated plus-maze test, berberine (100, 500 mg/kg) produced an increase in the time spent and arm entries in the open arms, and a decrease in the time spent and arm entries in the closed arms. Berberine (500 mg/kg) decreased locomotor activity in mice. Furthermore, BER at 100, 500 mg/kg decreased concentrations of NE, DA and 5-HT, and increased the concentrations of VMA, HVA and 5-HIAA in the brain stem. BER also attenuated the anxiogenic effect of WAY-100635, 8-OH DPAT and DOI and enhanced the anxiolytic effect of BUS, p-MPPI and RIT in the elevated plus-maze. These results suggested that berberine at 100 mg/kg had a significant anxiolytic-like effect, which was similar to that observed with 1 mg/kg diazepam and 2 mg/kg buspirone. The anxiolytic mechanism of BER might be related to the increase in turnover rates of monoamines in the brain stem and decreased serotonergic system activity. Moreover, BER decreased serotonergic system activity via activation of somatodendritic 5-HT1A autoreceptors and inhibition of postsynaptic 5-HT1A and 5-HT2 receptors.

    PMID: 15350820 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

    This is interesting - action of berberine on mouse models of AD, and some interesting data on this molecule;

    "So berberine might be a very promising drug to treat the cardiac disease, stroke, diabetes and hyperlipoidemia and chronic inflammation diseases. So far, whether berberine might be beneficial to AD by decreasing the inflammation factors expression has not been studied. To test the hypothesis that berberine might inhibit the inflammation factors IL-1β and iNOS expression in the rat model of AD, we used the rat model of AD established by injecting Aβ(1–40)(5 μg) into the bilateral hippocampuses with stereotaxic coordinates and gave the rats berberine chloride (50 mg/kg) intragastricly for 14 days. It was very surprising that we found berberine chloride could significantly ameliorate the spatial memory impairment and increase these two factors expression."

    Also that link looks at some of the controversies regarding inflammatory markers in AD.

    ....and from Wiki, on its anti-microbial properties;

    Berberine is considered an ineffective antibiotic, but this perception is due to observations of its activity as an isolated compound; when tested in conjunction with other biochemical substances simultaneously by elaborated by the barberry plant, then berberine is indeed an effective antibiotic - promoted by the substances that are responsible for deactivating Multidrug Resistance pumps in bacteria and restoring the activity of the berberine.[4]. As Lewis puts it: "Plants have faced the problem of microbial multidrug resistance for far longer than we have, and their solution is apparently to use a combination of an antibiotic with an MDR inhibitor. Emulating Nature's strategy and potentiating antibiotics with MDR inhibitors can be an effective strategy against drug-resistant microorganisms."

    These ideas are released under a Creative Commons Share and Share alike license

  2. #2
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    anyone tried this for depression/anxiety?
    poison saves, poison kills

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