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Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Jan;55(1):32-40. doi: 10.5414/CP202534.

Berberine promotes antiproliferative effects of epirubicin in T24 bladder cancer cells by enhancing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest



The present study was aimed to observe the effect of berberine (Ber) on epirubicin (EPI)-induced growth inhibition, apoptosis, and cell cycle arrest in T24 bladder cancer cells.


The cancer cells were exposed to EPI, with or without different concentrations of Ber. The viability of the cancer cells was measured by cell counting Kit-8, the apoptosis was determined by Hoechst 33258 staining and the expression of cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-9, Bcl-2, Bax, and P53 proteins were detected by Western blot assay. In addition, cell cycle arrest and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were also measured.


We found that Ber enhanced the inhibitory effect of EPI on the viability of T24 cells and promoted EPI-induced cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 and apoptosis in T24 cells. EPI increased the expression of cleaved caspase-3, cleaved caspase-9, Bax, P53, and P21 proteins, all of which were enhanced by treatment with Ber. In contrast, Ber exposure further decreased the expression of Bcl-2 in EPI-treated T24 cells. Furthermore, we also demonstrated that Ber significantly increased ROS production in EPI-treated T24 cells.


These data indicate that Ber enhances the antiproliferative effects of EPI in bladder cancer cells by promoting apoptosis and cell cycle arrest.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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