Introduction: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or primary liver cancer is one of the most prevalent and deadliest cancers, which has been increasing greatly worldwide. Diethylnitrosamine (DEN) is a well-known environmental toxin and potent hepatocarcinogenic dialkylnitrosoamine present in air, water, and in a number of foodstuffs. In the present study, we evaluated preventive effect of aqueous extract of quince (Cydonia oblonga Mill.) fruit (ACO) against DEN-induced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in rats.
Methods and Results: The model of hepatocellular carcinoma was induced by a single intraperitoneal injection of DEN (200 mg/kg) as an initiator that after two weeks followed by daily oral administration of 2-acetylaminofluorene (30 mg/kg) as a promoter for two weeks. Quince-treated rats were pretreated with ACO intragastrically at three different doses two weeks prior to DEN injection. The marked reduction of serum biomarkers of liver damage and cancer, including alfa-fetoprotein (AFP), gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), alanine transaminase (ALT), and aspartate transaminase (AST) were observed in ACO supplemented animals as compared with HCC rats at the end of the experiment. Moreover, the quince extract exhibited in vivo antioxidant activity by elevating glutathione (GSH) contents as well as preventing lipid peroxidation in the liver tissues of DEN-treated rats. The relative weight of liver was also reduced in quince-treaded rats as a prognostic marker in HCC.
Conclusions: Our results clearly demonstrated that quince has a chemopreventive effect against HCC in rats and can be proposed as a promising candidate for the prevention of DEN-induced hepatocarcinogenesis.
Key Words: C. oblonga; Chemoprevention; Hepatocarcinogenesis; Liver cancer; Quince
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