Cytotoxic activity of berberine on the growth of breast cancer cell line (mcf-7)

Shahab Nafisi,1 Ehsan karimi,2,* Hamid reza rahimi,3

1. Department of Biochemistry and biophysics,Mashhad branch,Islamic Azad University,Mashhad,Iran
2. Department of Biochemistry and biophysics,Mashhad branch,Islamic Azad University,Mashhad,Iran
3. Department of Modern Science & Technologies, School of Medicine,Mashhad University of Medical Sciences,Mashhad,Iran



Much research has been conducted on the benefits of various phytochemicals in many herbs, fruits and vegetables and their significant impact on human health. these compounds are synthesized in plants as secondary metabolites and have multiple effects on cellular metabolism. among the several plant secondary metabolites berberine is an isoquinoline quaternary alkaloid isolated from many kinds of medicinal plants such as hydrastis canadensi. barberry fruit has a lot of drug potential, its most important properties include anti-alzheimer's, anti-osteoporosis, antimicrobial and anticancer. in this study, the cytotoxicity effects of berberin, active ingredient in barberry fruit, on mcf-7 breast cancer cells were investigated.


Mcf-7 cell line was cultured in dmem medium and treated with different concentrations of berberine from 500 to 1 microgram for 24 and 48 hours. growth inhibition was measured by mtt assay and the absorbance of colored solution at 570 and 630 nm was determined by elisa reader.


The results demonstrated the decreasing percentage of mcf-7 cell viability together with increasing concentrations of berberine. cancer cell survival in the presence of berberine was significantly suppressed (about 10%) in concentration about 128 µg/ml relative to the untreated groups with ic50 about 23.2 and 15.5 µg/ml after 24 and 48h treatment respectively.


These data revealed that berberine caused significant inhibition of mcf7 cell viability in dose dependent manner.