Elevation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)/peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α (PGC1α) signaling can suppress intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH)-induced neurological impairments. As an isoquinoline alkaloid, Berberine exerts neuroprotective effects in neurological disease models with activated AMPK/PGC1α signaling.
We aim to study the effect of Berberine on ICH-induced brain injury and explore the potential molecular mechanism.
ICH model was established in mice through intracerebral injection of autologous whole blood, followed by treatment with Berberine. Neurological impairments were assessed by the modified neurological severity score and behavioral assays. Brain edema and blood-brain barrier (BBB) integrity were assessed by water content in the brain, amount of extravasated Evans blue, and BBB tight junction components. Neuroinflammatory responses were assessed by inflammatory cytokine levels. AMPK/PGC1α signaling was examined by AMPK mRNA expression and phosphorylated AMPK and PGC1α protein levels.
Berberine (200 mg/kg) attenuated ICH-induced neurological deficits, motor and cognitive impairment, and BBB disruption. Berberine also suppressed ICH-induced inflammatory responses indicated by reduced production of inflammatory cytokines. Finally, Berberine drastically elevated AMPK/PGC1α signaling in the hemisphere of ICH mice.
Our findings suggest that Berberine plays an important neuroprotective role against ICH-induced neurological impairments and BBB injury, probably by inhibition of inflammation and activation of AMPK/PGC1α signaling.

© 2021 S. Karger AG, Basel.