The effects of biscoclaurine alkaloid cepharanthine on mammalian cells: Implications for cancer, shock, and inflammatory diseases

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The extract of Stephania cepharantha Hayata contains biscoclaurine alkaloids such as cepharanthine, which have been used widely in Japan for the treatment of patients with radiation-induced leukopenia, alopecia areata, exudative otitis media, and venomous snakebites. Many investigations have proven that the alkaloid cepharanthine exerts diverse pharmacological effects that include membrane-stabilizing, multidrug resistance-reversing, antitumor, apoptosis-inducing, anti-inflammatory, free radical scavenging, anti-HIV-1, antiallergic and immunomodulatory effects. The purpose of our review is to describe various therapeutic approaches using cepharanthine and their potential efficacy.

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