African Journal of
Biochemistry Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biochem. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0778
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 425

Full Length Research Paper

Diethylnitrosamine-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in rats: possible chemoprevention by blueberries

*Nermin A.H. Sadik, Shohda A. EL-Maraghy and Manal F. Ismail
Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 14 March 2008
  •  Published: 31 March 2008



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.