Berberine inhibits TPA-induced MMP-9 and IL-6 expression in normal human keratinocytes

Phytomedicine. 2008 May;15(5):340-7. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2007.09.011. Epub 2007 Oct 24.


Berberine is a plant ingredient that has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) are known to be highly induced by ultraviolet (UV) light and may play important roles in UV-induced skin inflammation and the skin aging process. In this study, we investigated the effects of berberine on MMP-9 and IL-6 expression in normal human keratinocytes (NHK). Our results demonstrated that berberine dose-dependently inhibited basal and TPA-induced expression and activity of MMP-9, and also suppressed TPA-induced IL-6 expression. Berberine prevented TPA-induced ERK activation and AP-1 DNA binding activity. Therefore, berberine may be used as an effective ingredient for anti-skin aging products, which can prevent skin inflammation and the degradation of extracellular matrix proteins, including collagen, by MMPs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Berberine / chemistry
  • Berberine / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Interleukin-6 / genetics
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Keratinocytes / drug effects*
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / genetics
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / metabolism
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Pyridines / toxicity*


  • Interleukin-6
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Pyridines
  • tris(2-pyridylmethyl)amine
  • Berberine
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9