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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 5137505, 8 pages
Research Article

Berberine Inhibits Intestinal Polyps Growth in Apc (min/+) Mice via Regulation of Macrophage Polarization

1Department of Gastroenterology, General Hospital, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China
2Department of Gastroenterology, The Four Zero One Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army, Qingdao, China
3Department of Digestive Diseases, General Hospital, Jincheng Coal Group, Jincheng, Shanxi, China
4Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA
5Department of Gastroenterology, Tanggu Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital of Tianjin Binhai New Area, No. 90 Hangzhou Road, Tanggu, Binhai New Area, Tianjin 300450, China

Received 23 March 2016; Revised 13 May 2016; Accepted 29 May 2016

Academic Editor: Yong C. Boo

Copyright © 2016 Meiyu Piao 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.


Antitumor effect of berberine has been reported in a wide spectrum of cancer, however, the mechanisms of which are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that berberine suppresses tumorigenesis in the familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) by regulating the macrophage polarization in Apc (min/+) mouse model. Berberine was given to Apc (min/+) mice for 12 weeks. Primary macrophages were isolated; after berberine treatment, the change in signaling cascade was determined. The total number and size of polyps were reduced remarkably in berberine group, compared with control group. A significant decrease in protein levels of F4/80, mannose receptor (MR), and COX-2 in stroma of intestinal polyps and an increase in the level of iNOS were observed after berberine treatment. The mRNA level of MR and Arg-1 in berberine group was significantly lower than those in IL-10 or IL-4 group, while no significant difference in mRNA levels of iNOS and CXCL10 was observed. The migration and invasiveness assays in vitro showed that berberine could reduce the capability of migration and invasiveness. These findings suggest that berberine attenuates intestinal tumorigenesis by inhibiting the migration and invasion of colorectal tumor cells via regulation of macrophage polarization.