Anticachectic effects of the natural herb Coptidis rhizoma and berberine on mice bearing colon 26/clone 20 adenocarcinoma

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


We previously showed that the natural herb Coptidis rhizoma has an anticachectic effect in nude mice bearing human esophageal cancer cells. We further investigated this phenomenon by examining the anticachectic effect of C. rhizoma in syngeneic mice bearing colon 26/clone 20 carcinoma cells, which cause IL-6-related cachexia after cell injection. We evaluated nutritional parameters such as serum glucose level and wasting of adipose tissue and muscle in tumor-bearing and non-tumor-bearing mice treated with C. rhizoma (CR) supplement or a normal diet. IL-6 levels in those mice were quantified by ELISA and real-time RT-PCR. CR supplementation significantly attenuated weight loss in tumor-bearing mice without changing food intake or tumor growth. Furthermore, these mice maintained good nutritional status. IL-6 mRNA levels in tumors and spleens and IL-6 protein levels in tumors and sera were significantly lower in tumorbearing mice treated with CR supplement than those treated with a normal diet. CR supplementation did not affect food intake, body weight, nutritional parameters and IL-6 levels in non-tumor-bearing mice. An in vitro study showed that C. rhizoma and its major component, berberine, inhibited IL-1-induced IL-6 mRNA expression in a dose-dependent manner in colon 26/clone 20 cells. Our results showed that C. rhizoma exerts an anticachectic effect on colon 26/clone 20-transplanted mice and that its effect is associated with tumor IL-6 production. We also suggest that its effect might be due to berberine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-291
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 10 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Berberine
  • Cachexia
  • Colon 26/clone 20 cells
  • Coptidis rhizoma
  • IL-6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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