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Cardiovasc Drug Rev. 2001 Fall;19(3):234-44.

Cardiovascular actions of berberine.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China.

Abstract

Berberine, is an alkaloid from Hydrastis canadensis L., Chinese herb Huanglian, and many other plants. It is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine as an antimicrobial in the treatment of dysentery and infectious diarrhea. This manuscript describes cardiovascular effects of berberine and its derivatives, tetrahydroberberine and 8-oxoberberine. Berberine has positive inotropic, negative chronotropic, antiarrhythmic, and vasodilator properties. Both derivatives of berberine have antiarrhythmic activity. Some cardiovascular effects of berberine and its derivatives are attributed to the blockade of K+ channels (delayed rectifier and K(ATP)) and stimulation of Na+ -Ca(2+) exchanger. Berberine has been shown to prolong the duration of ventricular action potential. Its vasodilator activity has been attributed to multiple cellular mechanisms. The cardiovascular effects of berberine suggest its possible clinical usefulness in the treatment of arrhythmias and/or heart failure.

PMID:
11607041
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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