Berberine enhances survival and axonal regeneration of motoneurons following spinal root avulsion and re-implantation in rats
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AbstractBrachial plexus avulsion (BPA) occurs when the spinal nerve roots are pulled away from the surface of the spinal cord and disconnects neuronal cell body from its distal downstream axon, which induces massive motoneuron death, motor axon degeneration and de-innervation of targeted muscles, thereby resulting in permanent paralysis of motor functions in the upper limb. Avulsion injury triggers oxidative stress and intense local neuroinflammation at the lesioned site, leading to the death of most motoneurons. Berberine (BBR), a natural isoquinoline alkaloid derived from medicinal herbs of Berberis and Coptis species, has been reported to possess neuro-protective, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects in various animal models of central nervous system (CNS)-related disorders. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of BBR on motoneuron survival and axonal regeneration following spinal root avulsion plus re-implantation in rats. Our results indicated BBR significantly accelerated motor function recovery in the forelimb as revealed by the increased Terzis grooming test score, facilitated motor axon regeneration as evidenced by the elevated number of Fluoro-Gold-labeled and P75-positive regenerative motoneurons. The survival of motoneurons was notably promoted by BBR administration presented with boosted ChAT-immunopositive and neutral red-stained neurons. BBR treatment efficiently alleviated muscle atrophy, attenuated functional motor endplates loss in biceps and prevented the reduction of motor axons in the musculocutaneous nerve. Additionally, BBR treatment markedly mitigated the avulsion-induced neuroinflammation via inhibiting microglial and astroglial reactivity, up-regulated the expression of antioxidative indicator Cu/Zn SOD, and down-regulated the levels of nNOS, 3-NT, lipid peroxidation and NF-κB, as well as promoted SIRT1, PI3K and Akt activation. Collectively, BBR might be a promising therapy to assist re-implantation surgery for the treatment of BPA.
All Author(s) ListZhang X, Liu XD, Xian YF, Zhang F, Huang PY, Tang Y, Yuan QJ, Lin ZX
Journal nameFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Volume Number143
Pages454 - 470
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

Last updated on 2021-17-09 at 00:10