Anticachectic effects of Coptidis rhizoma, an anti-inflammatory herb, on esophageal cancer cells that produce interleukin 6

Norio Iizuka, Koji Miyamoto, Shoichi Hazama, Shigefumi Yoshino, Kiyoshi Yoshimura, Kiwamu Okita, Tetsuo Fukumoto, Shigeru Yamamoto, Akira Tangoku, Masaaki Oka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Herbs as alternative cancer therapies have attracted a great deal of recent attention due to their low toxicity and costs. In this study, the antitumor activity and anticachectic effect of Coptidis rhizoma, an anti- inflammatory herb, were investigated in nude mice carrying a human esophageal cancer cell line YES-2, which constitutively secretes interleukin-6 (IL-6) and induces cachexia when injected into these mice. In this study, in vivo growth of YES-2 cells was not affected by an oral supplement containing the extract powder of C. rhizoma at a final concentration of 1% (CR supplement). However, in comparison with normal diet, CR supplement significantly attenuated weight loss of tumor-bearing mice without a change in food or water intake. Tumor IL-6 levels were significantly lower in mice treated with CR supplement than in control mice (P <0.001). Serum IL-6 was detectable in four (50%) of eight control mice; IL-6 was not detected in mice treated with CR supplement. We also confirmed that berberine (8-32 μM), a major component of C. rhizoma, dose-dependently inhibited secretion of IL-6 by YES-2 cells in vitro. Moreover, reverse transcription-PCR assay showed that treatment of YES-2 cells with berberine (8-32 μM) for 24 h reduced IL-6 mRNA expression. Our results suggest that C. rhizoma may have an anticachectic effect on esophageal cancer and an effect is associated with the ability of berberine to down-regulate tumor IL-6 production. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 29 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Berberine
  • Cachexia
  • Coptidis rhizoma
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Interleukin 6
  • Kampo medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology


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