Background: Cancer is a progressive disease, its incidence and death rates are rapidly increasing globally. Numerous adverse effects are associated with the available interventions. Hence, the current study was undertaken to explore the anticancer effect of silver nanoparticles conjugated with berberine (AgNPs-BER) against Ehrlich solid carcinoma (ESC) in mice.
Methods: Male Swiss albino mice were allocated randomly into ESC, ESC+cisplatin (CP; 5 mg/kg), ESC+AgNPs-BER (20 mg/kg), and ESC+cisplatin and AgNPs-BER groups.
Results: AgNPs-BER administration increased significantly the survival rate and decreased body weight and tumor size as compared to ESC group. Additionally, AgNPs-BER enhanced the development of oxidative stress in the tumor tissue as indicated by the increased lipid peroxidation (LPO) and nitric oxide (NO) accompanied by a decrease in the examined antioxidant proteins (glutathione (GSH) and its derived enzymes along with superoxide dismutase and catalase). AgNPs-BER was found also to trigger apoptotic cascade in the tumor cells through upregulating the mRNA expression of the pro-apoptotic proteins (Bax and caspase-3) and downregulating the mRNA expression of the anti-apoptotic protein (Bcl-2). Moreover, AgNPs-BER improved partially the histopathological alterations in the developed tumor tissue as compared to ESC group.
Conclusion: Collectively, AgNPs-BER could be applied as an antitumor agent due to its pro-oxidant, pro-apoptotic, and antiangiogenic effects.