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Inhibition of progression of erythroleukemia induced by Friend virus in BALB/c mice by natural products — Berberine, Curcumin and Picroliv
Kuzhuvelil B. Harikumar, Girija Kuttan and Ramadasan Kuttan

The infection with Friend murine leukemia virus (FMuLv) is being used as a retrovirus infection model for searching the potential anti-viral medicinal preparations or establishing new treatment strategies. In the present study we have evaluated the inhibitory effect of three non-toxic antiviral natural compounds namely berberine, curcumin or picroliv against FMuLv induced erythroleukemia in BALB/c mice. To understand the effect of these compounds in the initiation and progression of leukemia we did a series of analysis, which include hematological and biochemical parameters, histopathological evaluations of the liver and the spleen and expression analysis of selected genes such as Bcl-2, p53, p45NFE2, Raf-1, Erk-1, IFNgamma receptor and erythropoietin in spleen. The treatment with berberine, curcumin or picroliv were found to (a) elevate the life span of leukemia harboring animals by more than 60 days; (b) decreased the anemic condition which was highly prevalent in FMuLv alone treated group; (c) histopathological evaluations showed that the compounds tested here inhibited the massive leukemic cell infiltrations to sinusoidal spaces in spleen; (d) decrease the expression of Bcl-2, Raf-1, Erk-1 IFNgamma receptor and erythropoietin; (e) induce the expression of p53. Overall, our results suggest that berberine, curcumin and picroliv were able to suppress the progression of leukemia induced by FMuLv and further support their chemopreventive potential against virally induced cancers.

Keywords: Berberine, Curcumin, Erythroleukemia, Friend virus, Picroliv

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