Group annotations on this page
nightsurfer on 2009-12-01Developmental toxicity evaluation of berberine in rats and mice.
Jahnke GD, Price CJ, Marr MC, Myers CB, George JD.
Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol. 2006 Jun;77(3):195-206.
BACKGROUND: Berberine, a plant alkaloid, is found in some herbal teas and health-related products. It is a component of goldenseal, an herbal supplement. Berberine chloride dihydrate (BCD) was evaluated for developmental toxicity in rats and mice.
METHODS: Berberine chloride dihydrate was administered in the feed to timed-mated Sprague-Dawley (CD) rats (0, 3625, 7250, or 14,500 ppm; on gestational days [GD] 6-20), and Swiss Albino (CD-1) mice (0, 3500, 5250, or 7000 ppm; on GD 6-17). Ingested doses were 0, 282, 531, and 1313 mg/kg/day (rats) and 0, 569, 841, and 1155 mg/kg/day (mice).
RESULTS:There were no maternal deaths. The rat maternal lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL), based on reduced maternal weight gain, was 7250 ppm. The rat developmental toxicity LOAEL, based on reduced fetal body weight per litter, was 14,500 ppm. In the mouse study, equivocal maternal and developmental toxicity LOAELs were 5250 ppm. Due to scattering of feed in the high dose groups, a gavage study at 1000 mg/kg/day was conducted in both species.
CONCLUSIONS: In rats, maternal, but not fetal adverse effects were noted. The maternal toxicity LOAEL remained at 7250 ppm (531 mg/kg/day) based on the feed study and the developmental toxicity NOAEL was raised to 1000 mg/kg/day BCD based on the gavage study. In the mouse, 33% of the treated females died. Surviving animals had increased relative water intake, and average fetal body weight per litter decreased 5-6% with no change in live litter size. The maternal toxicity LOAEL remained at 5250 ppm (841 mg/kg/day) BCD, based on increased water consumption. The developmental toxicity LOAEL was raised to 1000 mg/kg/day BCD based on decreased fetal body weight.