In Vitro Protective Effects of Lycium barbarum Berries Cultivated in Umbria (Italy) on Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells.
Biomed Res Int. 2016 ;2016:7529521. Epub 2016 Nov 14. PMID: 27965980
M R Ceccarini
Lycium barbarum is a famous plant in the traditional Chinese medicine. The plant is known to have health-promoting bioactive components. The properties of Lycium barbarum berries cultivated in Umbria (Italy) and their effect on human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2) have been investigated in this work. The obtained results demonstrated that the Lycium barbarum berries from Umbria region display high antioxidant properties evaluated by total phenolic content and ORAC method, on hydrophilic and lipophilic fractions. Moreover, on HepG2 cell line Lycium barbarum berries extract did not change cell viability analyzed by MTT and Trypan blue exclusion assay and did not induce genotoxic effect analyzed by comet assay. Furthermore, it was demonstrated, for the first time, that the berries extract showed a protective effect on DNA damage, expressed as antigenotoxic activity in vitro. Finally, Lycium barbarum berries extract was able to modulate the expression of genes involved in oxidative stress, proliferation, apoptosis, and cancer. In particular, downexpression of genes involved in tumor migration and invasion (CCL5), in increased risk of metastasis and antiapoptotic signal (DUSP1), and in carcinogenesis (GPx-3 and PTGS1), together with overexpression of tumor suppressor gene (MT3), suggested that Umbrian Lycium barbarum berries could play a protective role against hepatocellular carcinoma.