Berberine induces cell death in leukemia cells – study

A study published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine revealed that a compound called berberine induces cell death in leukemia cells. In this study, the subcellular localization and the apoptotic mechanisms of berberine were investigated.

  • Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid found in medicinal plants used in traditional and folk medicines.
  • In the study, researchers at Nagasaki International University in Japan first treated human promyelocytic leukemia cells with berberine, then examined its antiproliferative activity.
  • Five to 15 minutes after treatment, berberine exhibited powerful antiproliferative activity in the cells.
  • Then, the researchers investigated the effect of berberine on inducing cell death and found that the compound induced cell death in leukemia cells.

In conclusion, these findings suggest that berberine can induce cell death in leukemia cells immediately after administration.

To read more studies on natural treatments for leukemia, visit

Journal Reference:

Okubo S, Uto T, Goto A, Tanaka H, Nishioku T, Yamada K, Shoyama Y. BERBERINE INDUCES APOPTOTIC CELL DEATH VIA ACTIVATION OF CASPASE-3 AND -8 IN HL-60 HUMAN LEUKEMIA CELLS: NUCLEAR LOCALIZATION AND STRUCTURE–ACTIVITY RELATIONSHIPS. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 6 October 2017; 45(7): 1497-1511. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X17500811

comments powered by Disqus