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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 329-331

Body weight, organ weight, and appetite evaluation of adult albino Wistar rats treated with berberine


1 Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Edo University, Iyamho, Nigeria
2 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Life Sciences, Ambrose Alli University, Edo State, Nigeria

Date of Submission28-Jan-2020
Date of Decision19-May-2020
Date of Acceptance08-Jul-2020
Date of Web Publication15-Oct-2020

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Ferdinand Uwaifo
Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Edo University, Iyamho, Edo State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_9_20

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  Abstract 


BACKGROUND: Berberine is a natural compound found to have numerous pharmacological activities such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It has been the subject of intensive scientific research; however, there has been scanty information on its subacute effect on appetite and body weight. This work was done to evaluate the body weight, organ weight, and appetite of adult albino Wistar rats treated with berberine.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty adult apparently healthy rats having a weight range between 200 and 230 g were used for this study. The rats were divided into four groups of five per group and fed with pellets and water ad libitum. Group A served as the control, Group B were fed with 2 mg/kg of berberine, Group C with 20 mg/kg, while Group D were fed with 200 mg/kg body weight. Doses were administered once daily using oral gavage for 28 days. Feed and water intake were monitored, calculated, and values recorded. Body weights of the animals were also monitored weekly and the values recorded. The animals were anesthetized with chloroform before the time of sacrifice. Necropsy was performed and the tissues (liver, lungs, heart, and kidneys) were weighed and values recorded.
RESULTS: There was a statistically significant increase in the feed (119.21 ± 5.22 and 120.83 ± 5.54) and water (148.26 ± 6.30 and 153.21 ± 5.02) intake in the 20 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg berberine-treated rats, respectively. Statistical differences in the body weights (253.83 ± 5.63 and 255.04 ± 5.47) of the 20 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg berberine-treated rats, respectively, were noted when compared to the control.
CONCLUSION: The result showed that berberine caused a significant increase in appetite and weight at concentrations as high as 20 mg/kg.

Keywords: Appetite, Berberine, heart, kidneys, liver, weight


How to cite this article:
Uwaifo F, John-Ohimai F. Body weight, organ weight, and appetite evaluation of adult albino Wistar rats treated with berberine. Int J Health Allied Sci 2020;9:329-31

How to cite this URL:
Uwaifo F, John-Ohimai F. Body weight, organ weight, and appetite evaluation of adult albino Wistar rats treated with berberine. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 21];9:329-31. Available from: https://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2020/9/4/329/298127




  Introduction Top


Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid, with a characteristic intense yellow color found in several plants including Coptidis Rhizoma (Huang Lian), Coptis chinensis (Chinese goldthread), Coptis trifolia (American goldthread), Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon grape), Berberis aristata (tree turmeric), Berberis vulgaris (common barberry), and Hydrastis canadensis (goldenseal).[1],[2] Berberine has been studied extensively, and Gan[3] as well as Kumar[4] described its anticancer, antimicrobial, uterotonic, immunostimulatory, sedative, anticonvulsant, hypotensive, choleretic, and anthelmintic properties. Berberine is also found to be a potential agent used for treating neurodegeneration and cytotoxicity.[5] Berberine has also been reported to lower fasting blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, triglyceride, and insulin levels.[6] Berberine has also been reported by Zhao,[7] to be potentially protective against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity. Although there have been numerous works on berberine, there has been a dearth of information on the effect of barberine on the body weight, organ weight, and the appetite on rats.

This study was carried out to evaluate the body weight, organ weight, and appetite of adult albino Wistar rats treated with berberine.


  Materials and Methods Top


Ethical approval

The Ethical Committee of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi campus, was sought for ethical approval. Ethics committee approval number was EC73400, dated August 12, 2019.

Experimental design

Twenty apparently healthy adult albino Wistar rats, between 10 and 13 weeks of age with a weight range between 200 and 230 g, were used for this study. The rats were grouped into four with each group containing five rats which were allowed to acclimatize for 2 weeks and were fed ad libitum with standard Pfizer-branded rodent feed obtained from Livestock Feed, Nigeria Ltd., while water was made available in downspout type water bottles. Berberine acute toxicity test recorded no deaths up to 2000 mg/kg body weight in rats. The doses of berberine for each group are Group A: control, fed with feed and water only, Group B: 2 mg/kg, Group C: 20 mg/kg, and Group D: 200 mg/kg berberine (representing one-thousandth, one-hundredth, and one-tenth of the toxic dose, respectively). Doses were administered through oral gavage daily for 28 days, after which the rats were anesthetized using chloroform. The heart, kidney, lungs, and liver tissues were eviscerated, blotted in tissue paper, and fixed in 10% formal saline for weight assessment.

Dose preparation and administration

The 200 mg/ml of stock solution was prepared. The animals were fasted for 3–4 h before dosing, after which they were weighed. Doses were administered based on the body weight of the animals, after which food was withheld for 2 h for complete absorption of the drug.

Food and water consumption

Food and water consumption was monitored on a daily basis. The difference between the weight of feed/volume of water given and the weight of feed/volume of water remaining served as appetite evaluation.

Absolute organ measurement

The weights of the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys were measured using a sensitive weighing balance (Ohaus, USA). The organs were excised from the sacrificed rats, blotted using tissue paper, weighed fresh, sectioned, and fixed in 10% formal saline.

Relative organ weight

The percentage relative organ weights of fresh organs were determined by calculation using the expression as follows:

Relative organ weight =



Method of data analysis

SPSS statistical package software (IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 21.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.). was used to analyze the data obtained from this study. Statistical significance between the groups was analyzed by means of two-way analysis of variance. The results are presented in terms of mean ± standard deviation, while P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Carcass disposal

After the heart, liver, kidney, and lungs were eviscerated, the carcasses were buried far away from human habitation.


  Results Top


There were statistically significant increases in feed (119.21 ± 5.22 g and 120.83 ± 5.54 g) and water (148.26 ± 6.30 ml and 153.21 ± 5.02 ml) intake in the 20 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg berberine-treated rats, respectively [Table 1]. Statistical differences in the body weights (253.83 ± 5.63 kg and 255.04 ± 5.47 kg) of the 20 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg treated rats, respectively, were noted when compared to the control [Table 2]. There was no statistically significant change in the absolute weights of the heart and lungs at all doses tested [Table 3]. However, statistically significant (P < 0.05) increases in the weight of the liver at 200 mg/kg body weight and the kidneys at 20 mg/kg body weight and 200 mg/kg body weight relative to the rat weights were recorded [Table 4].
Table 1: Feed and water consumption of rats treated with extract

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Table 2: Body weights of rats treated with extract

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Table 3: Absolute organ weight

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Table 4: Standardized organ weight per 100 g body weight of rats treated with extract

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  Discussion Top


The findings showed steady increases in body weight throughout the duration of the study (i.e., from week 1 to week 4) in the control group. There were progressive reductions in mean weight per week during the first 2 weeks of treatment with berberine across the doses tested. Furthermore, there were significant progressive elevations in mean weight per week for the rest of the study duration at all doses tested [Table 2]. The observed weight loss among the treated groups during the first 2 weeks of extract administration is correlated to reduction in or altered feeding pattern. However, this effect was transient because the experimental animals resumed normal feeding pattern due to regained appetite with ultimate weight gain at the end of the study. The initial loss of appetite by the treated rats may be as a result of the drastic bitter taste of berberine as previously reported.[8],[9] The final body weight gain may be a result of rebound increase in food consumption that was observed from day 14 to the end of the study. This finding does not agree with the findings of Yueyue et al.,[10] who reported berberine as an effective antiobesity agent with no toxicity. It also contradicts the study of Hu and Davie,[11] who reported that berberine has the potential to reduce weight gain in mice


  Conclusion Top


Although berberine has been the subject of many researches with its beneficial use, the present study has demonstrated that berberine has significantly increased not only the body weight but also the weight of the liver and kidneys of albino Wistar rats at concentrations, as high as 200 mg/kg.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Kamath S, Skeels M, Pai A. Significant differences in alkaloid content of Coptis chinensis (Huanglian), from its related American species. Chin Med 2009;4:17.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Tang J, Feng Y, Tsao S, Wang N, Curtain R, Wang Y. Berberine and Coptidis rhizoma as novel antineoplastic agents: A review of traditional use and biomedical investigations. J Ethnopharmacol 2009;126:5-17.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Gan RY. Bioactivities of Berberine: An update. Int J Mod Bio Med 2012;22:48-81.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Kumar A, Ekavali, Chopra K. Current knowledge and pharmacological profile of Berberine: An update. Eur J Phar 2015;761:288-97.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Tatyasaheb P, Snehal P, Anuprita P, Shreedevi P. Is Berberine superior to metformin in management of diabetes mellitus and its complications? Int J Phar Phyt Res 2015;7; 543-53.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Zhang H, Wei J, Xue R, Wu JD, Zhao W, Wang ZZ, et al. Berberine lowers blood glucose in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients through increasing insulin receptor expression. Metabolism 2010;59:285-92.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Zhao X, Zhang J, Tong N, Liao X, Wang E, Li Z, et al. Berberine attenuates doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity in mice. J Int Med Res 2011;39:1720-7.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Jiang H, Zhang D, He J, Han X, Lin J, Lan Y, et al. A novel method to mask the bitter taste of Berberine hydrochloride: Powder surface modification. Pharmacogn Mag 2018;14:253-60.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Yemitan OK and Adeyemi OO. Mechanistic assessment of the analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic actions of dalbergia saxatilis in animal models. Phar Bio 2013; 55:898-905.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Yueyue W, Zaoping C, Xinmei H, Jun L, Ying C, Fang W, et al. Berberine protected rats against adiposity induced by high-fat diets. Int J Cli Exp Med 2016;9:148-55.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Hu Y, Davies GE. Berberine inhibits adipogenesis in high-fat diet-induced obesity mice. Fitoterapia 2010;81:358-66.  Back to cited text no. 11
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]



 

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