Background: Teucrium oliverianum
and Rhazya stricta
are medicinal plants used in traditional and herbal medicine for the treatment of diabetes,
liver diseases and inflammatory conditions. The present study was planned to investigate the antitumor efficacy of Teucrium oliverianum
in chemically-induced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in rats.
Materials and Methods:
Forty adult male rats weighing 170-200 g were divided into four groups; each group was comprised of ten rats: (1): Normal
healthy animals served as negative control group, (2): Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) group in which the rats were orally administered Nnitrosodiethylamine
(dissolved in 0.9% normal saline), in a dose of 20 mg/kg b.wt. five times a week for six weeks, (3): HCC group treated with
extract in a dose of 600 mg/kg b.wt for two months and (4): HCC group treated with Rhazya stricta
extract in a dose of 750
mg/kg b.wt for two months. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), asparatate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and gammaglutamyl
transferase (γ-GT) activities were estimated. Serum carcinoembyronic antigen (CEA), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), alpha-L-fucosidase (AFU),
glypican-3 (GPC-3), golgi protein 73 (Gp-73) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels were determined. Histopathological examination
of liver tissue sections was also carried out.
The HCC group showed significant elevation in serum AST, ALT, ALP and γ-GT activities as well as CEA, AFP, AFU, Gpc-3, Gp 73 and
VEGF levels versus the negative control group. Photomicrograph of liver tissue sections of rats in HCC revealed hepatic parenchyma with foci of
anaplastic hepatocellular carcinoma as well as other foci of cystic cholangio carcinoma associated with areas of telangictasis with haemorrhage as
well as individual hepatocellular necrosis.
Treatment of HCC groups with Teucrium oliverianum
or Rhazya stricta
extract experienced significant improvement in the measured
biochemical parameters as well as in the structural organization of the liver. In conclusion, the current study provided experimental evidences for the
antitumor efficacy of Teucrium oliverianum
and Rhazya stricta
against hepatocellular carcinoma. Such effect could be attributed to
hepatoprotective properties, antiproliferative activity and antiangiogenic potential.