Nitrosamine compounds are known hepatic carcinogens. This study was designed to study the efficacy of dietary supplementation with blueberries (BB) on diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-initiated hepatocarcinogenesis in male wistar rats. Rats were divided into three groups. The first group served as normal control group, the second group received DEN at a dose of 10 mg/kg body weight five times a week for 15 weeks. The third one received DEN as in DEN-treated group simultaneously with 4% BB-supplemented diet. The results showed that BB caused significant decrease in the elevated serum levels of α-fetoprotein (AFP), homocysteine (Hcy) along with levels of glutathione(GSH), deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA)and activity of glutathione reductase (GR) in liver. Normalization of elevated α2-macroglobulin (α2M) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) levels in serum, hepatic glutathione-S-transferase (GST), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities and liver weight was achieved whereas body weight was significantly decreased. Moreover, no significant change was observed in elevated relative liver weight, hepatic glucose-6-P-dehydrogenase (G6PD), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) along with serum aminotransferases, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and γ-glutamyltransferase (γ-GT) activities. Significant increase in reduced hepatic activity of xanthine oxidase (XO) was achieved and histopathological damage was minimized in BB-treated group. It is suggested that BB suppress DEN- induced hepatocarcinogenesis and could be developed as a promising chemopreventive natural supplement for liver cancer.
Key words: Blueberries, diethylnitrosamine, hepatocarcinogenesis, α2-macroglobulin, α-fetoprotein, homocysteine, glutathione, rats.
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