National Cancer Institute: Berberine HCL Medical Effects

The orally bioavailable, hydrochloride salt form of berberine, a quaternary ammonium salt of an isoquinoline alkaloid and active component of various Chinese herbs, with potential antineoplastic, radiosensitizing, anti-inflammatory, anti-lipidemic and antidiabetic activities.
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Although the mechanisms of action through which berberine exerts its effects are not yet fully elucidated, upon administration this agent appears to suppress the activation of various proteins and/or modulate the expression of a variety of genes involved in tumorigenesis and inflammation, including, but not limited to transcription factor nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB), myeloid cell leukemia 1 (Mcl-1), B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), B-cell lymphoma-extra large (Bcl-xl), cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin (IL)-6, IL-12, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), E-selectin, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), C-X-C motif chemokine 2 (CXCL2), cyclin D1, activator protein (AP-1), hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1), signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR), arylamine N-acetyltransferase (NAT), and DNA topoisomerase I and II.
The modulation of gene expression may induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, and inhibit cancer cell proliferation. In addition, berberine modulates lipid and glucose metabolism.
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