Effect of berberine nanoemulsion Photodynamic therapy on cervical carcinoma cell line
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Cervical carcinoma is the most common gynecological cancer among young and adult women. There has been increasing interest in natural sources for cervical carcinoma treatment, especially for active compounds from plant extracts as antineoplastic agents. Berberine is an example of one these promising natural products. It is a natural isoquinoline alkaloid and comes from plants, such as Berbis, Coptis, and Hydrastis. It is widely used in Chinese medicine and has demonstrated activity against various cancer cell lines. This work aims to analyze the efficiency of berberine-containing nanoemulsions as photosensitizing agents in photodynamic therapy and their interaction with cervical carcinoma cells and immortalized human keratinocyte cell line. Among all groups tested, berberine nanoemulsions combined with photodynamic therapy induced the most statistically significant phototoxicity in the evaluated cell lines. Fluorescence microscopy demonstrated that the compound was present for up to 48 h when berberine nanoemulsions were used. The reactive oxygen species assay showed an increase in reactive oxygen species in the two studied cell lines after treatment of berberine-containing nanoemulsion combined with photodynamic therapy. The autophagy trial showed significant increases in cell death when berberine-containing nanoemulsion treatment was combined with photodynamic therapy when compared to trichostatin A treatment as a positive control. However, caspase-3 activity did not significantly increase in cervical carcinoma cells and immortalized human keratinocyte cell line. The results suggest that nanoemulsions with berberine have potential for use as photosensitizing agents in photodynamic therapy to treat cervical carcinoma.
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