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J Photochem Photobiol B. 2006 Dec 1;85(3):163-76. Epub 2006 Aug 14.

Photochemical and phototoxic activity of berberine on murine fibroblast NIH-3T3 and Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells.

Author information

1
Institute of Biochemistry, Nutrition and Health Protection, Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Radlinského 9, SK-812 37 Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

Abstract

The present study demonstrates photoinduced generation of superoxide anion radical and singlet oxygen upon UVA irradiation of berberine chloride, and its cytotoxic/phototoxic effects on murine fibroblast non-cancer NIH-3T3 and Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells. The EPR spectra monitored upon photoexcitation of aerated solutions of berberine evidenced the efficient activation of molecular oxygen via Type I and II mechanisms, as the generation of superoxide anion radical and singlet oxygen was observed. The EAC cell line was more sensitive to the effect of non-photoactivated and photoactivated berberine than the NIH-3T3 cell line. UVA irradiation increased the sensitivity of EAC cells to berberine, while the sensitivity of NIH-3T3 cells to photoactivated berberine was not changed. Berberine significantly induced direct DNA strand breaks in tested cells, oxidative lesions were not detected, and the effect of irradiation of cells after berberine treatment did not affect the increase of DNA damage in EAC and NIH-3T3 cells. The DNA damage generated by a combination of berberine with UVA irradiation induced a significant blockage of EAC cells in the S and G(2)/M phases and the stopping/decrease of cell proliferation after 24h of influence. On the other hand, after 36h or 48h of berberine treatment, the DNA damage induced necrotic or apoptotic death of EAC cells. Whether these divergences are caused by differences in the properties of two non-isogenic cell lines or by different berberine uptake and cell localization will be analyzed in our further investigations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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