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12 January 2022 Berberine alleviates LPS-induced apoptosis, oxidation, and skewed lineages during mouse preimplantation development
Xiaosu Miao, Wei Cui
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Female infertility is a heterogeneous disorder with a variety of complex causes, including inflammation and oxidative stress, which are also closely associated with the pathogenesis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). As a new treatment for PCOS, berberine (BER), a natural compound from Berberis, has been clinically applied recently. However, the mechanisms underlying the association between BER and embryogenesis are still largely unknown. In this study, effects of BER on preimplantation development were evaluated under both normal and inflammatory culture conditions induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in mice. Our data first suggest that BER itself (25 nM) does not affect embryo quality or future developmental potency; however, it can effectively alleviate LPS-induced embryo damage by mitigating apoptosis via reactive oxygen species (ROS)-/caspase-3-dependent pathways and by suppressing proinflammatory cytokines via inhibition of the NF-κB signaling pathway during preimplantation embryonic development. In addition, skewed cell lineage specification in the inner cell mass (ICM) and primitive endoderm (PE) caused by LPS can also be successfully rescued with BER. In summary, these findings for the first time demonstrate the nontoxicity of low doses of BER and its antiapoptotic and antioxidative properties on embryonic cells during mammalian preimplantation development.

Summary Sentence: A low dose of berberine is nontoxic to embryos and can successfully alleviate LPS-induced damage by diminishing apoptosis and proinflammatory cytokines as well as correcting skewed cell lineages during preimplantation embryonic development.

Graphical Abstract

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
Xiaosu Miao and Wei Cui "Berberine alleviates LPS-induced apoptosis, oxidation, and skewed lineages during mouse preimplantation development ," Biology of Reproduction 106(4), 699-709, (12 January 2022).
Received: 4 October 2021; Accepted: 6 January 2022; Published: 12 January 2022
blastocyst embryo
cell lineage specification
DNA damage
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