Journal Article

Reduction of hepatocarcinogenesis by ursodeoxycholic acid in rats

Kenji Oyama, Goshi Shiota, Hisao Ito, Yoshikazu Murawaki and Hironaka Kawasaki

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 23, issue 5, pages 885-892
Published in print May 2002 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online May 2002 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/23.5.885
Reduction of hepatocarcinogenesis by ursodeoxycholic acid in rats

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Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is used worldwide for treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis and chronic liver diseases. However, its action on hepatocarcinogenesis remains to be explored. To clarify its effect, in vivo and in vitro experiments were performed. Ninety Fisher 344 rats were fed a standard diet (Group 1, n = 30), a standard diet supplemented with 0.1% UDCA (Group 2, n = 30) and 0.3% UDCA (Group 3, n = 30). The rats were given an i.p. injection of diethylnitrosamine (DEN) weekly for 6 weeks. Fifteen additional rats were fed 0.3% UDCA supplemented diet without DEN treatment (Group 4). The rats were killed at 5, 10 and 18 weeks after the last injection of DEN. The number of liver tumor and percentage of the GST-P-positive hepatocytes were significantly reduced by UDCA treatment. The PCNA-positive cells were decreased by administration of UDCA at 18 weeks. The increased number of apoptotic cells was observed in the GST-P-negative area at 5, 10 and 18 weeks and in the GST-P-positive area at 18 weeks in the UDCA group. Expression of Bax in mitochondria and cytochrome c in cytosol was increased by UDCA treatment. Caspase 3 activity was also increased in the UDCA groups. The addition of UDCA into the culture of Huh7 and Fao hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells induced apoptosis in a dose-dependant manner. The data of the present study suggest that UDCA treatment reduces hepatocarcinogenesis via inducing apoptosis of `initiated hepatocytes' as well as inhibiting proliferation.

Keywords: AOM, azoxymethane; CA, cholic acid; DCA, deoxycholic acid; DEN, diethylnitrosamine; GST-P, glutathione S transferase-P; HCC, hepatocellular carcinoma; HCV, hepatitis C virus; IFN, interferon; MPT, mitochondrial permeability transition; PBC, primary biliary cirrhosis; PCNA, proliferating cell nuclear antigen; PMSF, phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride; TCDD, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin; TUNEL, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick labeling; UDCA, ursodeoxycholic acid.

Journal Article.  6240 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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