Bioengineered. 2021 Sep 30. Epub 2021 Sep 30. PMID: 34592881
Berberine inhibited carotid atherosclerosis through PI3K/AKTmTOR signaling pathway.
Atherosclerosis, a multifactorial vascular disease resulting from lipid metabolism disorders, features chronic inflammatory damage resulting from endothelial dysfunction, which usually affects multiple arteries. The carotid artery is a common site for clinical atherosclerosis evaluation. The aortic root is the standard site for quantifying atherosclerosis in mice. Due to the adverse reactions of first-line drugs, it is necessary to discover new drugs to prevent and treat atherosclerosis. Berberine (BBR) is one of the most promising natural products derived from herbal medicine(Huanglian) that features significant anti-atherosclerosis properties. However, overall BBR mechanism against carotid atherosclerosis has not been clearly discovered. Our work aimed to investigate potential BBR mechanism in improving carotid atherosclerosis in ApoE knockout mice. Here, we proved that in ApoEmice receiving high-fat diet for 12 weeks, BBR can reduce serum lipid levels, improve intimal hyperplasia, and antagonize carotid lipid accumulation, which may be achieved through regulating the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway, regulating autophagy, promoting cell proliferation and inhibiting cell apoptosis. In summary, these data indicate that BBR can ameliorate carotid atherosclerosis. Therefore, it could be a promisingly therapeutic alternative for atherosclerosis.