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Fertil Steril. 2015 Apr;103(4):1098-106. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.01.010. Epub 2015 Feb 14.

Berberine inhibits the proliferation of human uterine leiomyoma cells.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, Georgia.
2
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, Georgia; Department of Medicine, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, Georgia.
3
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, Georgia. Electronic address: yechen@gru.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether berberine (BBR), a naturally occurring plant-derived alkaloid, inhibits the proliferation of human uterine leiomyoma (UtLM) cells.

DESIGN:

Laboratory research.

SETTING:

Laboratory.

PATIENT(S):

UtLM and normal human uterine smooth muscle (UtSMC) cell lines.

INTERVENTION(S):

Treatment with [1] BBR (10, 20, and 50 μM), [2] BBR (20 and 50 μM) and/or 17β-estradiol (E2; 10 and 100 nM), and [3] BBR (20 and 50 μM) and/or progesterone (P4; 10 and 100 nM) for 24 or 72 hours.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Cell proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis, and related genes expression were determined.

RESULT(S):

BBR inhibited UtLM cell proliferation by inducing G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Cell cycle G2/M phase-related genes were altered by BBR treatment: the expression of cyclin A1, cyclin B1, and Cdk1 were down-regulated, while Cdk4, p21, and p53 were up-regulated. BBR-treated cells stained positively for annexin V and manifested increased BAX expression. E2- and P4-induced UtLM cell proliferation was blocked by BBR treatment. In marked contrast, even the highest concentration of BBR (50 μM) did not influence cell proliferation in UtSMC cells.

CONCLUSION(S):

BBR selectively inhibits cellular proliferation and blocks E2- and P4-induced cell proliferation in UtLM but not in normal UtSMC cells. In addition, BBR did not demonstrate cytotoxicity effects in normal human UtSMCs. Our results suggest BBR could be a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of uterine leiomyoma.

KEYWORDS:

Berberine; anti-tumorigenic; antineoplastic; fibroids; leiomyomas; treatment; uterus

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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