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J Cell Biochem. 2020 Feb;121(2):1295-1306. doi: 10.1002/jcb.29363. Epub 2019 Sep 6.

Hesperidin suppressed hepatic precancerous lesions via modulation of exophagy in rats.

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Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
Department of Histology, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Cairo, Egypt.
Histology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Unaizah College of Medicine, Al Qassim University, Buraydah, KSA.


The enormous cost of modern medicines warrants alternative strategies for the better management of hepatocellular carcinoma. Recently, exosomes have been shown to relay the oncogenic information through the horizontal transfer of RNAs between the cells. In this study, we modulated exosomal production and autophagy (exophagy) by the administration of hesperidin and evaluated its effect on the development of hepatic precancerous lesion (HPC) in rats. Diethylnitrosamine and 2-acetylaminofluorene were used in vivo to induce HPC in rats. Rats were allocated into five groups: naïve, HPC, and three hesperidin treated (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg/d; orally) for 4 consecutive days per week for 16 weeks. Liver tissues and blood samples were collected for histopathological, immunohistochemical, and transmission electron microscope examinations, liver function, alfa-fetoprotein level, and isolation of exosomal and autophagy RNAs. Hesperidin administration showed hepato-protective effects and improved the microscopic hepatic features with a decrease in glutathione S-transferase placental precancerous foci and the abundance of exosomes in liver tissues. Hesperidin improved liver function with a significant decrease in alfa-fetoprotein levels. Hesperidin dose-dependently decreased exosomal RAB11A messsenger RNA and long noncoding RNA-RP11-583F2.2 along with the increase in exosomal miR-1298, involved in the exophagy process. In conclusion, hesperidin likely suppresses liver carcinogenesis in rat model via the modulation of exosomal secretion and autophagy.


autophagy; exophagy; exosomes; hepatocellular carcinoma; hesperidin


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