Effects of Berberine on Acute Necrotizing Pancreatitis and Associated Lung Injury

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We set out to examine whether berberine (BBR) might affect the severity of pancreatitis and pancreatitis-associated lung injury in choline-deficient ethionine-supplemented (CDE) diet–induced severe acute pancreatitis.


Severe acute pancreatitis was induced by feeding a CDE diet for 3 days. Berberine was administered intraperitoneally during CDE diet. Mice were killed on days 1, 2, and 3 after the onset of CDE diet. The severity of pancreatitis was assessed by evaluating changes to the pancreas and lung and survival rate. Blood, pancreas, and lung were harvested for further examination. Furthermore, the regulating mechanisms of BBR were evaluated on the pancreas.


Administration of BBR significantly inhibited histological damage to the pancreas and lung and decreased serum level of amylase and lipase, myeloperoxidase activity, cytokine production, and the mortality rate. Furthermore, administration of BBR inhibited activation of nuclear factor kappa B, c-Jun N-terminal kinases, and p38 in the pancreas during CDE diet.


These findings suggest that BBR attenuates the severity of pancreatitis by inhibiting activation of nuclear factor kappa B, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and p38 and that BBR could be used as a beneficial agent to regulate AP.

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