Chemopreventive effects of pequi oil (Caryocar brasiliense Camb.) on preneoplastic lesions in a mouse model of hepatocarcinogenesis

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Pequi (Caryocar brasiliense Camb.), a fruit from Brazil’s central region, was evaluated for its chemopreventive effects on preneoplastic liver lesions induced by the carcinogen diethylnitrosamine (DEN) in mice. BALB/c mice, 14 days of age, received an intraperitoneal injection at 10 µg/g of DEN. The mice received either of two doses of pequi oil (100 or 400 mg/kg) daily from the age of 30 days and were killed at the age of 189 days. Stereological parameters, including the volume density (Vv) and the total volume (Vtot) of the lesions (preneoplastic and adenomas), were measured and the expression of cytokeratins CK8/18 was evaluated. The total volume of lesions and adenomas was reduced by 51% in the group treated with the carcinogen and 400 mg/kg of pequi oil administered daily by an oral gavage for 25 consecutive weeks. In addition, some mice in this group did not develop lesions. Among the remaining preneoplastic lesions in this group, the number of remodelled profiles increased by 2.4-fold in the 400-mg pequi oil-treated mice relative to the 100-mg-treated mice. Our results show that pequi oil exerts a hepatoprotective effect against DEN-induced development of preneoplastic lesions and adenoma in mice and the potential for its use in the prevention of liver cancer.

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