Synergistic inhibitory effect of berberine and d-limonene on human gastric carcinoma cell line MGC803.
J Med Food. 2014 Sep ;17(9):955-62. Epub 2014 Jul 21. PMID: 25045784
This study aims at evaluating the anticancer effects of berberine hydrochloride (berberine) and d-limonene, alone and in combination, on human gastric carcinoma cell line MGC803 to determine whether berberine and d-limonene work synergistically and elucidate their mechanisms. MGC803 cells were treated with berberine and d-limonene, alone and in combination, for 24-48 h. The inhibitory effects of these drugs on growth were determined by MTT assay. The combination index and drug reduction index were calculated with the Chou-Talalay method based on the median-effect principle. Flow cytometry and laser scanning confocal microscopy were employed to evaluate the effects of both drugs on cell-cycle perturbation and apoptosis, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial membrane potential, and expression of Bcl-2 and caspase-3 in MGC803 cells. Berberine or d-limonene alone can inhibit the growth of MGC803 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Berberine and d-limonene at a combination ratio of 1:4 exhibited a synergistic effect on anti-MGC803 cells. The two drugs distinctly induced intracellular ROS generation, reduced the mitochondrial transmembrane potential (ΔΨm), enhanced the expression of caspase-3, and decreased the expressionof Bcl-2. The combination of berberine and d-limonene showed more remarkable effects compared with drugs used singly in MGC803 cells. The combination of berberine and d-limonene exerted synergistic anticancer effects on MGC803 cells by cell-cycle arrest, ROS production, and apoptosis induction through the mitochondria-mediated intrinsic pathway.