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. 2010 Aug 1;77(5):1536-44.
doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.02.062.

Effects of Berberine Against Radiation-Induced Intestinal Injury in Mice

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Effects of Berberine Against Radiation-Induced Intestinal Injury in Mice

Guang-Hui Li et al. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. .

Abstract

Purpose: Radiation-induced intestinal injury is a significant clinical problem in patients undergoing abdominal radiotherapy (RT). Berberine has been used as an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antimotility agent. The present study investigated the protective effect of berberine against radiation-induced intestinal injury.

Methods and materials: The mice were administrated berberine or distilled water. A total of 144 mice underwent 0, 3, 6, 12, or 16 Gy single session whole-abdominal RT and 16 mice underwent 3 Gy/fraction/d for four fractions of fractionated abdominal RT. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-10, diamine oxidase, intestinal fatty acid-binding protein, malonaldehyde, and apoptosis were assayed in the mice after RT. The body weight and food intake of the mice receiving fractionated RT were recorded. Another 72 mice who had undergone 12, 16, or 20 Gy abdominal RT were monitored for mortality every 12 h.

Results: The body weight and food intake of the mice administered with distilled water decreased significantly compared with before RT. After the same dose of abdominal RT, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, diamine oxidase, intestinal fatty acid-binding protein in plasma and malonaldehyde and apoptosis of the intestine were significantly greater in the control group than in the mice administered berberine (p < .05-.01). In contrast, interleukin-10 in the mice with berberine treatment was significantly greater than in the control group (p < .01). A similar result was found in the fractionated RT experiment and at different points after 16 Gy abdominal RT (p < .05-.01). Berberine treatment significantly delayed the point of death after 20 Gy, but not 16 Gy, abdominal RT (p < .01).

Conclusion: Treatment with berberine can delay mortality and attenuated intestinal injury in mice undergoing whole abdominal RT. These findings could provide a useful therapeutic strategy for radiation-induced intestinal injury.

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