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Mol Carcinog. 2005 Sep;44(1):11-20.

Apigenin inhibits oxidative stress-induced macromolecular damage in N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA)-induced hepatocellular carcinogenesis in Wistar albino rats.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Madras, Taramani Campus, Chennai, India.


Apigenin (4',5,7-trihydroxyflavone), a flavone subclass of flavonoid widely distributed in many herbs, fruits, and vegetables is a substantial component of the human diet and has been shown to possess a variety of biological activities including tumor growth inhibition and chemoprevention. Recent studies in several biological systems have shown that apigenin induces tumor growth inhibition, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis. Free radical-induced degradation of polyunsaturated fatty acid results in electrophilic products and causes severe oxidative stress. Oxidative stress induced by free radicals, nonoxidizing species, electrophiles, and associated DNA damages have been frequently coupled with carcinogenesis. In the present study, the protective role of apigenin was examined against the oxidative stress caused by N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) and phenobarbital (PB) in Wistar albino rats. Oxidative stress was measured in terms of lipid peroxidation (LPO) and protein carbonyl formation. Oxidative stress-induced DNA damage was measured by single cell gel electrophoresis (comet assay). Apigenin exhibited its antioxidant defense against NDEA-induced oxidative stress. We have observed minimal levels of LPO and DNA damage in apigenin-treated hepatoma bearing animals. Based on the results, we suggest that apigenin may be developed as a promising chemotherapeutic agent against the development of chemical carcinogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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