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Pharmacol Toxicol. 2001 May;88(5):232-7.

Protective effect of berberine on cyclophosphamide-induced haemorrhagic cystitis in rats.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33328, USA.


The urotoxicity of cyclophosphamide and the protective effect of the herb berberine were investigated in this study. Administration of 150 mg/kg cyclophosphamide intraperitoneally caused a serious haemorrhagic cystitis in rats after 12 hr, including bladder oedema, haemorrhage, and dramatic elevation of nitric oxide metabolites (nitrite+nitrate) in urine and in plasma. To explore whether cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis could be prevented by berberine, rats were pretreated with a single dose or two doses of berberine at 50, 100, or 200 mg/kg intraperitoneally then challenged with cyclophosphamide (150 mg/kg, intraperitoneally). The results indicated that pretreatment of rats with berberine could reduce cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, we found that two doses of berberine showed greater protection against cyclophosphamide urotoxicity than when given a single dose. In addition, our data shows that a single dose of 200 mg/kg berberine, or two doses of 100, and 200 mg/kg berberine could completely block cyclophosphamide-induced bladder oedema and haemorrhage, as well as nitric oxide metabolites increase in rat urine and plasma. In conclusion, our findings suggest that berberine could be a potential effective drug in the treatment of cyclophosphamide-induced cystitis, and provides us with the bright hope in the prevention and treatment of cyclophosphamide urotoxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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