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Berberine hydrochloride: anticancer activity and nanoparticulate delivery system

Authors Tan W, Li, Chen M, Wang Y

Published 24 August 2011 Volume 2011:6 Pages 1773—1777

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S22683

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Wen Tan, Yingbo Li, Meiwan Chen, Yitao Wang
State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macao Special Administrative Region, China

Background: Berberine hydrochloride is a conventional component in Chinese medicine, and is characterized by a diversity of pharmacological effects. However, due to its hydrophobic properties, along with poor stability and bioavailability, the application of berberine hydrochloride was hampered for a long time. In recent years, the pharmaceutical preparation of berberine hydrochloride has improved to achieve good prospects for clinical application, especially for novel nanoparticulate delivery systems. Moreover, anticancer activity and novel mechanisms have been explored, the chance of regulating glucose and lipid metabolism in cancer cells showing more potential than ever. Therefore, it is expected that appropriate pharmaceutical procedures could be applied to the enormous potential for anticancer efficacy, to give some new insights into anticancer drug preparation in Chinese medicine.
Methods and results: We accessed conventional databases, such as PubMed, Scope, and Web of Science, using “berberine hydrochloride”, “anti-cancer mechanism”, and “nanoparticulate delivery system” as search words, then summarized the progress in research, illustrating the need to explore reprogramming of cancer cell metabolism using nanoparticulate drug delivery systems.
Conclusion: With increasing research on regulation of cancer cell metabolism by berberine hydrochloride and troubleshooting of issues concerning nanoparticulate delivery preparation, berberine hydrochloride is likely to become a natural component of the nanoparticulate delivery systems used for cancer therapy. Meanwhile, the known mechanisms of berberine hydrochloride, such as decreased multidrug resistance and enhanced sensitivity of chemotherapeutic drugs, along with improvement in patient quality of life, could also provide new insights into cancer cell metabolism and nanoparticulate delivery preparation.

Keywords: berberine hydrochloride, anticancer mechanisms, nanoparticulate drug progress

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