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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 802903, 5 pages
Research Article

Metabolic Interaction of the Active Constituents of Coptis chinensis in Human Liver Microsomes

Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China

Received 7 September 2014; Revised 24 November 2014; Accepted 24 December 2014

Academic Editor: Yuping Tang

Copyright © 2015 Songcan Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Coptis chinensis is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. The study investigated metabolic interaction of the active constituents (berberine, coptisine, palmatine, and jatrorrhizine) of Coptis chinensis in human liver microsomes. After incubation of the four constituents of Coptis chinensis in HLMs, the metabolism of the four constituents was observed by HPLC. The in vitro inhibition experiment between the active constituents was conducted, and IC50 value was estimated. Coptisine exhibited inhibitions against the formation of the two metabolites of berberine with IC50 values of 6.5 and 8.3 μM, respectively. Palmatine and jatrorrhizine showed the weaker inhibitory effect on the formation of the metabolites of berberine. Berberine showed a weak inhibitory effect on the production of coptisine metabolite with an IC50 value of 115 μM, and palmatine and jatrorrhizine had little inhibitory effect on the formation of coptisine metabolite. Berberine, coptisine, and jatrorrhizine showed no inhibitory effect on the generation of palmatine metabolite (IC50 > 200 μM). The findings suggested that there are different degrees of metabolic interaction between the four components. Coptisine showed the strongest inhibition toward berberine metabolism.