Anthocyanin-rich black currant (Ribes nigrum L.) extract affords chemoprevention against diethylnitrosamine-induced hepatocellular carcinogenesis in rats.
J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Jan 7. Epub 2011 Jan 7. PMID: 21216582
Cancer Therapeutics and Chemoprevention Group, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy, Rootstown, OH 44272, USA.
Anthocyanins are known to possess potent anticarcinogenic properties against several cancers thus demonstrating potential for cancer prevention. Black currant (Ribes nigrum L., Grossulariaceae) fruits have a high anthocyanin content. This "superfruit" is known to possess various pharmacological effects including alleviation of chronic oxidative stress and inflammation. In contrast to a large volume of literature on the health benefits of black currant, limited evidence on antitumor effects of black currant exists with virtually no data on the prevention of experimental carcinogenesis. In the current study, we have investigated the chemopreventive effects of an anthocyanin-rich black currant skin extract (BCSE) utilizing our well-characterized model of rat liver carcinogenesis. Initiation of hepatocarcinogenesis was done by intraperitoneal injection of diethylnitrosamine (DENA) followed by promotion with phenobarbital. The rats were exposed to dietary BCSE for 4 weeks prior to initiation, and the treatment was continued for 22 consecutive weeks. BCSE dose-dependently decreased the incidence, total number, multiplicity, size and volume of preneoplastic hepatic nodules. The antihepatocarcinogenic effect of BCSE was confirmed by histopathological examination of liver sections. Immunohistochemical analysis of proliferating cell nuclear antigen and DNA fragmentation revealed BCSE-mediated inhibition of abnormal cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis in DENA-induced rat liver tumorigenesis respectively. Mechanistic studies revealed that BCSE-mediated proapototic signal during experimental hepatocarcinogenesis may be propagated via the up-regulation of Bax and down-regulation of Bcl-2 expression at the translational level. These results along with a safety profile of BCSE encourage the development of black currant bioactive constituents as chemopreventive agents for human liver cancer.