Berberine affects osteosarcoma via downregulating the caspase-1/IL-1β signaling axis.
Oncol Rep. 2017 Feb ;37(2):729-736. Epub 2016 Dec 16. PMID: 28000894
Osteosarcoma is one of the most devastating cancers with associated poor prognosis. Chronic bone inflammation frequently predisposes to tumorigenesis and progression of osteosarcoma. In the tumor inflammatory microenvironment, caspase-1 and its processed cytokines such as interleukin 1β (IL-1β) play an important role in the occurrence and development of cancer. Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid extracted from the dry root of Coptidis Rhizoma, which has been found to exhibit significant anticancer effects on a wide spectrum of carcinomas including osteosarcoma. However, themechanisms underlying the anticancer effects of berberine in osteosarcoma remain poorly understood and their elucidation is critical for developing improved therapies. In the present study, we investigated the potential mechanism underlying the anticancer effect of berberine in osteosarcoma. We found that the expression of caspase-1 and its downstream target IL-1β were higher in osteosarcoma cells compared with normal cells both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, administration of berberine is capable of reducing the expression of caspase-1 and IL-1β in osteosarcoma cells and inhibiting the growth of tumor cells. Based on the above, for the first time, we propose the hyposis that berberine could gengerate an anti-osteosarcoma property through downregulating caspase-1/IL-1β inflammatory signaling axis.