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Vol. 63, No. 4, 1993
Issue release date: 1993
Biol Neonate 1993;63:201–208
(DOI:10.1159/000243932)
Original Paper

Displacement of Bilirubin from Albumin by Berberine

Chan E.
Department of Pharmacy, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Abstract

A study was made of the effect of berberine, the major ingredient of the Chinese herb huanglian (coptis chinensis) reported to pose some risk for kernicterus among jaundiced newborn Chinese infants, on the protein binding of bilirubin, using the peroxidase kinetic method. Berberine was found in vitro, as to its displacing effect on a molar basis, to be about tenfold superior to phenylbutazone, a known potent displacer of bilirubin, and about hundredfold to papaverine, a berberine-type alkaloid. The chronic intraperitoneal administration of berberine (10 and 20 μg/g) daily for 1 week to adult rats (mixed breed of Wistar and Sprague-Dawley) resulted in a significant decrease in mean bilirubin serum protein binding, due to an in vivo displacement effect and a persistent elevation in steady-state serum concentrations of unbound and total bilirubin, possibly due to inhibition of metabolism. The use of the herb and other traditional Chinese medicines containing a high proportion of berberine is best avoided in jaundiced neonates and pregnant women.

 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Dr. Eli Chan, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 0511 (Singapore)


 goto top of outline Article Information

Published online: September 30, 2009
Number of Print Pages : 8


 goto top of outline Publication Details

Neonatology (Fetal and Neonatal Research)

Vol. 63, No. 4, Year 1993 (Cover Date: 1993)

Journal Editor: Halliday H.L. (Belfast), Speer C.P. (Würzburg)
ISSN: 1661-7800 (Print), eISSN: 1661-7819 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/NEO


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