Blueberry treatment attenuated cirrhotic and preneoplastic lesions and oxidative stress in the liver of diethylnitrosamine-treated rats.Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2016 Sep; 29(3):426-37.IJ
Diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-induced liver cancer normally develops in stages that progress from cirrhosis and carcinoma. Increased oxidative stress is suggested to play a role in DEN-induced carcinogenicity. Blueberries (BB) contain high antioxidant capacity. We investigated the effect of BB supplementation on development of DEN-induced cirrhosis and neoplastic lesions in the liver. Rats were injected with DEN (200 mg/kg; i.p.) three times with an interval of 15 days at 4, 6, and 8 weeks and sacrificed 8 weeks after the last DEN injection. They were also fed on 8% BB (w/w) containing chow for 16 weeks. Hepatic damage markers in serum were determined together with hepatic histopathological examinations. Hydroxyproline (HYP), malondialdehyde (MDA), diene conjugate (DC), protein carbonyl (PC), and glutathione (GSH) levels, and CuZn-superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities, and their mRNA expressions were measured. Protein and mRNA expressions of glutathione transferase-pi (GST-pi) were evaluated as a marker of preneoplastic lesions. BB supplementation decreased hepatic damage markers in serum and hepatic MDA, DC, and PC levels, but SOD, CAT, and GSH-Px activities and their mRNA expressions remained unchanged in DEN-treated rats. BB attenuated cirrhotic changes and decreased hepatic HYP levels and GST-pi expressions. Our results indicate that BB is effective in decreasing development of DEN-induced hepatic cirrhosis and preneoplastic lesions by acting as an antioxidant (radical scavenger) itself without affecting activities and mRNA expressions of antioxidant enzymes.