PDAC is universally acknowledged to be one of the highest mortality rate of cancer-related deaths. PCSCs, regulated by EMT, could promote the proliferation of PDAC. Berberine with high medicinal value has usually been used as an anti-cancer agent. Hence the purpose of this study is to investigate the anti-cancer effect of berberine in PDAC.
MTT assay was used to verify berberine inhibiting the proliferation of PDAC. Immunofluorescence staining, stem cell sphere, wound healing and transwell migration assay were demonstrated the anti-proliferation and anti-stemness of PCSCs in vitro . PANC-02 cells were injected in C57BL/6 mice to establish the orthotopic pancreatic-cancer model in vivo . H&E and Ki67 immunohistogical staining assay were used to evaluated the effect of berberine in PDAC in vivo. q-PCR and Western blot methods were applied to detect the expression of EMT procedure.
In this study, berberine has selective anti-cancer effect in PDAC in vitro . Moreover, berberine suppressed the proliferation and stemness of PCSCs in PDAC. In vivo , berberine reduced the tumor size and decreased the expression of Ki67 in orthotopic pancreatic-cancer pancreases. In addition, berberine inhibit the EMT signaling pathway both in vitro and in vivo .
Our study indicates that berberine inhibit the proliferation of PDAC in vivo and vitro . The mechanism of anti-cancer effect on berberine may suppress the PCSCs through inhibiting EMT procedure. Therefore, berberine may be the novel antineoplastic drug with clinical effectiveness in PDAC. Keywords: Berberine, PDAC, PCSCs, EMT, berberine