Current Medical Science

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 37–43 | Cite as

Berberine Ameliorates High-Fat Diet-Induced Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Rats via Activation of SIRT3/AMPK/ACC Pathway

  • Yu-pei Zhang
  • Yuan-jun Deng
  • Kai-rui Tang
  • Run-sen Chen
  • Shu Liang
  • Yin-ji Liang
  • Li Han
  • Ling Jin
  • Zi-en Liang
  • Yan-ning Chen
  • Qin-he YangEmail author


This study aimed to verify the effects of berberine (BBR) on the fat metabolism proteins involved in the sirtuin 3 (SIRT3)/adenosine 5’-monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK)/acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) pathway in the liver tissues of rats with high-fat diet (HFD)-induced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Forty-eight rats were randomly divided into the normal control (NC) group, HFD group or BBR group, with 16 rats in each group. After 8 and 16 weeks of treatment, serum and liver samples were collected. Subsequently, body parameters, biochemical parameters and liver pathology were examined. The expression levels of proteins involved in the SIRT3/AMPK/ACC pathway in the liver were detected by Western blotting. After 8 and 16 weeks of a HFD, the successful establishment of rat models with different degrees of NAFLD was confirmed by hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and Oil Red O staining. NAFLD rat models exhibited obesity and hyperlipidemia, and the protein expression levels of SIRT3, p-AMPK, p-ACC, and CPT-1A in the liver were significantly decreased compared to those in the NC group. The concurrent administration of BBR with the HFD effectively improved serum and liver lipid profiles and ameliorated liver injury. Furthermore, the protein expression levels of SIRT3, p-AMPK, p-ACC, and CPT-1A in the liver were significantly increased in the BBR group as compared with those in the HFD group. In conclusion, our data suggest that the mechanism by which BBR ameliorates HFD-induced hepatic steatosis may be related to the activation of the SIRT3/AMPK/ACC pathway in the liver.

Key words

berberine non-alcoholic fatty liver disease sirtuin 3 lipid metabolism 


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Copyright information

© Huazhong University of Science and Technology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yu-pei Zhang
    • 1
  • Yuan-jun Deng
    • 1
  • Kai-rui Tang
    • 1
  • Run-sen Chen
    • 1
  • Shu Liang
    • 1
  • Yin-ji Liang
    • 1
  • Li Han
    • 2
  • Ling Jin
    • 2
  • Zi-en Liang
    • 1
  • Yan-ning Chen
    • 1
  • Qin-he Yang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Traditional Chinese MedicineGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Traditional Chinese Medicinethe First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan UniversityGuangzhouChina

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