The aim of this study was to explore the anti-tumor effect and therapeutic potential of rosmarinic acid (RA) in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). RA at 75, 150 and 300 mg/kg was given to H22 tumor-bearing mice by intragastric administration once daily for 10 consecutive days. Levels of inflammatory and angiogenic factors, including interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) were measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Protein levels of phosphorylated NF-κB p65 and p65 were detected by western blot. mRNA level of NF-κB p65 was analyzed by qRT-PCR. The results showed that RA could effectively suppress tumor growth with fewer toxic effects by regulating the secretion of cytokines associated with inflammation and angiogenesis, and suppressing the expression of NF-κB p65 in the xenograft microenvironment. Our findings unveil the possible anti-tumor mechanisms of RA and support RA as a potential drug for the treatment of HCC.
Keywords: Angiogenesis; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Inflammation; NF-κB p65; Rosmarinic acid.
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