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Effects of Berberine on Carotid Artery Atherosclerosis in Rabbits

HE Guo-hou~*,LIU Yong,AI Zhi-bing,ZHANG Xiao-dong,WANG Yun-fu.~*Department of Neurology,Taihe Hospital,Yunyan Medical college,Shiyan 442000,China  
Objective: To observe the effects of berberine on carotid artery atherosclerosis in rabbits.Methods:Thirty-two Japanese White Rabbits(JWRs) were randomly classified into four groups,JWRs in normal group fed with normal diet,JWRs in AS group with high-fat diet and operated on carotid artery by air-dry,JWRs in berberine group and simvastatin group with high-fat diet and given berberine or simvastatin respectively by oral and operated on carotid artery by air-dry.Five weeks after the treatment all the JWRs were examined for DSA、HE staining、elastic fiber staining and immunohistochemistry staining.Results: JWRs in AS group were found to show stenosis in the carotid artery but not obviously in simavastatin group and berberine group.JWRs in AS group were found to accumulate the foam cells and atherosclerotic plagues in the carotid artery obviously,JWRs in simvastatin group and berberine group were found to display early atherosclerotic plagues.The radio of I/M and the percentage of foamy cells in AS group were significantly higher than those in the simvastatin group and in berberine group, but no notable difference between simvastatin group and berberine group was obtained.Conclusion: Berberine showed the same preventive effects on the formation of carotid artery atherosclerosis in rabbits as simvastatin.
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