Suppressive effect of berberine on experimental dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2012 Jun;34(3):391-7. doi: 10.3109/08923973.2011.609887.


The anti-inflammatory effect of berberine was evaluated in murine model of acute experimental colitis induced by dextran sulfate sodium (DSS). Berberine, given orally at 40, 20, 10 mg/kg for 10 days, ameliorated all the supposed inflammatory symptoms of the induced colitis, such as body weightloss, blood hemoglobin reduction, high myeloperoxidase levels, and malondialdehyde content-inflamed mucosa. Furthermore, the cytokine production of splenic lymphocytes was analyzed. The results showed the IFN-γ and IL-12 were increased, but IL-4 and IL-10 were decreased in DSS-induced colitis,when those were compared with the normal control. But the administration of berberine to DSS-induced colitis mice showed lower production of IFN-γ and IL-12 and higher production of IL-4 and IL-10 than the DSS-induced colitis mice. The results suggest that the protective effects of berberine against the DSS-induced colitis may be associated with the regulation of cytokine production.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Berberine / pharmacology*
  • Colitis / blood
  • Colitis / chemically induced*
  • Colitis / drug therapy*
  • Colitis / immunology
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Dextran Sulfate / toxicity*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Berberine
  • Dextran Sulfate