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Protective effects of berberine on ischemic injury in cultured rat cortical neurons

WU Jun Fang, LIU Shao Lin, PAN Xin Xin, LIU Tian Pei (Dept of Pharmacology, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029)  
AIM To investigate protective effects of berberine(Ber) on ischemic injury in cultured rat cortical neurons. METHODS Cortical neurons of fe tal of rat were cultured in vitro . The protective effects of Ber on ischemic injury by treating cells with sodium dithionite in glucose free medium were observed. RESULTS Ber 5, 25 μmol·L -1 reduced the number of cell death and lowered LDH content in extra cellular bathing media in oxygen/glucose deprived cortical cultures. When cultures were incubated for 24 h with hypoxic/hypoglycemic medium, level of [Ca 2+ ] i and content of MDA increase while the content of GSH and the activity of SOD decreased. Ber 5 and 25 μmol·L -1 prevented the elevation of [Ca 2+ ] i and MDA and increased the content of GSH and the activity of SOD. CONCLUSION Ber protects cerebral cortical neurons from ischemic injury by preventing the rise of [Ca 2+ ] i, suppressing the generation of lipid peroxide and increasing the content of GSH and the activity of SOD.
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