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Hormetic effect of berberine attenuates the anticancer activity of chemotherapeutic agents
Bao J.1; Huang B.1; Zou L.2; Chen S.1; Zhang C.1; Zhang Y.1; Chen M.1; Wan J.-B.1; Su H.1; Wang Y.1; He C.1
Source PublicationPLoS ONE

Hormesis is a phenomenon of biphasic dose response characterized by exhibiting stimulatory or beneficial effects at low doses and inhibitory or toxic effects at high doses. Increasing numbers of chemicals of various types have been shown to induce apparent hormetic effect on cancer cells. However, the underlying significance and mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Berberine, one of the major active components of Rhizoma coptidis, has been manifested with notable anticancer activities. This study aims to investigate the hormetic effect of berberine and its influence on the anticancer activities of chemotherapeutic agents. Our results demonstrated that berberine at low dose range (1.25-5 μM) promoted cell proliferation to 112%-170% of the untreated control in various cancer cells, while berberine at high dose rage (10-80 μM) inhibited cell proliferation. Further, we observed that co-treatment with low dose berberine could significantly attenuate the anticancer activity of chemotherapeutic agents, including fluorouracil (5-FU), camptothecin (CPT), and paclitaxel (TAX). The hormetic effect and thereby the attenuated anticancer activity of chemotherapeutic drugs by berberine may attributable to the activated protective stress response in cancer cells triggered by berberine, as evidenced by up-regulated MAPK/ERK1/2 and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways. These results provided important information to understand the potential side effects of hormesis, and suggested cautious application of natural compounds and relevant herbs in adjuvant treatment of cancer. © 2015 Bao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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WOS Research AreaScience & Technology - Other Topics
WOS SubjectMultidisciplinary Sciences
WOS IDWOS:000362175700092
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Cited Times [WOS]:25   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document TypeJournal article
CollectionInstitute of Chinese Medical Sciences
Affiliation1.State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Taipa, Macau
2.Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
First Author AffilicationInstitute of Chinese Medical Sciences
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Bao J.,Huang B.,Zou L.,et al. Hormetic effect of berberine attenuates the anticancer activity of chemotherapeutic agents[J]. PLoS ONE,2015,10(9).
APA Bao J..,Huang B..,Zou L..,Chen S..,Zhang C..,...&He C..(2015).Hormetic effect of berberine attenuates the anticancer activity of chemotherapeutic agents.PLoS ONE,10(9).
MLA Bao J.,et al."Hormetic effect of berberine attenuates the anticancer activity of chemotherapeutic agents".PLoS ONE 10.9(2015).
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