Berberine (BBR), an extracted isoquinoline alkaloid from medicinal plants, is widely used to treat gastrointestinal infections, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, as well as diabetic complications (DC). In this study, network pharmacology was employed to exhibit the potential pharmacological mechanisms of BBR treating type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and DC, which need further research. Thirty-one overlapped targets were obtained from 313 potential targets of BBR and 178 related targets of T2DM retrieved and screened from databases, such as STITCH, PharmMapper, TTD, PharmGKB. It is worth noting that UCP2, AHR, GLUT4, PPARA, PTGS1/S2, LPL, HMGR, and NR1H4 have been reported which related to both BBR and T2DM. Visualized networks of function-target-pathway, revealed the underlying mechanisms of drug function, showed the core targets such as CYP3A4, CYP2C9 were mainly involved in xenobiotics/retinol/drug metabolism, as well as PPARA, INSR in PPAR/adipocytokine/insulin signaling pathway. Of which, several targets have relationship with DC, such as CYP2C9/PPARA related to blood vessel, RXRA related to retina reported. Taken together, this study revealed that BBR has efficacy effect on T2DM and DC mediated by vital targets using network pharmacology, which also provided a time-saving efficient approach in drug research including medicine function mechanism, and new drug development.


S. Di: None. L. Han: None. L. Zhao: None. X. Tong: None.


National Natural Science Foundation of China (81704067, 81430097)

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