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Mol Cell Biochem. 2008 Jun;313(1-2):53-61. doi: 10.1007/s11010-008-9741-5. Epub 2008 Mar 31.

Silymarin downregulates COX-2 expression and attenuates hyperlipidemia during NDEA-induced rat hepatocellular carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Madras, Guindy campus, Chennai 600025, Tamilnadu, India.


Silymarin is a naturally available bioflavonoid and is a strong antioxidant with a capacity to inhibit the formation of tumors in several cancer models. In the present study, we investigated whether dietary supplementation of silymarin has any role in lipid components, lipid-metabolizing enzymes, free fatty acid profile, and expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA)-induced hepatocellular carcinoma in rats. NDEA-induced rats showed severe hyperlipidemia along with upregulated expression of COX-2 as revealed by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Dietary silymarin supplementation attenuated this hyperlipidemia and downregulated the expression of COX-2. Thus we conclude that compounds like silymarin with potent hypolipidemic effect are strong candidates as chemopreventive agents for the treatment of liver cancer.

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