Effect of resveratrol analogue, DMU-212, on antioxidant status and apoptosis-related genes in rat model of hepatocarcinogenesis

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The aim of the study was to examine whether antioxidant properties of 3,4,4′,5-tetramethoxystilbene (DMU-212) contribute to its anticarcinogenic activity and whether DMU-212 affects the expression of apoptosis-related genes. Two-stage model of hepatocarcinogenesis was used; male Wistar rats were challenged with N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA), 200 mg/kg body weight (b.w.), intraperitoneal, then phenobarbital (PB) in drinking water (0.05%) was administered. Simultaneously, DMU-212 was given per os at a dose 20 or 50 mg/kg b.w. two times a week for 16 weeks. DMU-212 caused a moderate decrease in hepatic thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and protein carbonyls concentration elevated in rats treated with NDEA/PB. The activity of antioxidant enzymes examined reduced by NDEA/PB treatment was not restored in rats coadministered with DMU-212. Effects of DMU-212 on messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of antioxidant enzymes in rats challenged with NDEA/PB were diversified; no changes in their protein expression were noted in any of the groups. The expression of 17,000 genes was analyzed by Affymetrix® Rat Gene 1.1 ST Array; 15 apoptosis-related genes were selected and validated by RT-q PCR. The combined treatment with NDEA/PB and DMU-212 increased the mRNA level of some genes driving mitochondria-mediated apoptosis, whereas the mRNA expression of some anti-apoptotic genes triggering receptor-mediated apoptosis was reduced. The expression of genes encoding caspases-4, -8, -9, and -12 was also increased in rats treated with DMU-212. Although antioxidant effect of DMU-212 in rats challenged with NDEA/PB was moderate, its potential anticarcinogenic properties were demonstrated as evidenced by modulation of apoptosis-related genes.

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