Immunological axis of berberine in managing inflammation underlying chronic respiratory inflammatory diseases

Xin Nee Tew, Natalie Jia Xin Lau, Dinesh Kumar Chellappan, Thiagarajan Madheswaran, Farrukh Zeeshan, Murtaza M. Tambuwala, Alaa A Aljabali, Sri Renukadevi Balusamy, Haribalan Perumalsamy, Gaurav Gupta, Brian G. Oliver, Alan Hus, Peter Wark, Karosham Reddy, Ridhima Wadhwa, Philip Michael Hansbro, Kamal Dua

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Inflammatory responses play a remarkable role in the mechanisms of acute and chronic respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer. Currently, there is a resurgence in the use of drugs from natural sources for various ailments as potent therapeutics. Berberine, an alkaloid prominent in the Chinese traditional system of medicine has been reported to exert therapeutic properties in various diseases. Nevertheless, the number of studies focusing on the curative potential of berberine in inflammatory diseases involving the respiratory system is limited. In this review, we have attempted to discuss the reported anti-inflammatory properties of berberine that function through several pathways such as, the NF-κB, ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK pathways which affect several pro-inflammatory cytokines in the pathophysiological processes involved in chronic respiratory diseases. This review would serve to provide valuable information to researchers who work in this field and a new direction in the field of drug discovery with respect to respiratory diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108947
Number of pages46
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
Early online date20 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: The authors would like to thank International Medical University (IMU), Malaysia for providing the financial support for the project. Also, thanks to the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), The University of Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia and the Discipline of Pharmacy, Graduate School of Health, University of Technology Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia for providing necessary support. Publisher Copyright: © 2020 Copyright: Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Asthma
  • Berberine
  • COPD
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Lung cancer
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Respiratory diseases


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