Anti-hypercholesterolemic Effect of Berbamine Isolated from Rhizoma Coptidis in Hypercholesterolemic Zebrafish Induced by High-Cholesterol Diet

Document Type : Research article


1 School of Life Sciences, Southwest University

2 School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Southwest University


The anti-hypercholesterolemic effect of berbamine (BBM) isolated from Rhizoma Coptidis (RC) was investigated in hypercholesterolemic zebrafish model induced by high-cholesterol (HC) diet. Zebrafish embryo assay revealed no significant difference in morphology and cell death with the treatment of BBM less than 20 μg/mL. In zebrafish larvae, the fluorescently labeled cholesterol in caudal artery was reduced dose-dependently after BBM treatment. For adult zebrafish, administration of 0.2% BBM exhibited a significant decrease in plasma total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) levels by 37%, 38% and 28%, respectively, along with a fall in lipid content in liver. Further investigation suggested that the mRNA expression of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) and microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) in liver were down-regulated and the transcription levels of liver gene low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) and cytochrome P450 polypeptide 1a of subfamily A of family 7 (CYP7A1a) were significantly up-regulated with BBM treatment. Histological study showed that BBM can alleviate hepatic steatosis induced by HC diet. These data suggested that BBM has anti-hypercholesterolemic and hepatoprotective effects. The mechanism probably related to the up-regulation of cholesterol transport and bile acid synthesis as well as inhibition of cholesterol synthesis and lipoprotein assembly or secretion.


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