Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the deadliest primary cancers, with a 5-year survival rate of 10% or less. This study was undertaken to elucidate the underlying biochemical and molecular mechanisms in favor of N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced hepatocellular carcinoma. Furthermore, the aim of this work was extended to explore the efficacy of Ginkgo biloba leaves extract in deterioration of HCC in rats. In the current study, HCC group experienced significant downregulation of ING-3 gene expression and upregulation of Foxp-1 gene expression in liver. Treatment of HCC groups with Ginkgo biloba leaves extract resulted in upregulation of ING-3 and downregulation of Foxp-1 gene expression in liver. In addition, there was significant increase in serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and glypican-3 (GPC-3) levels in HCC group versus the negative control group. In contrast, the groups with HCC subjected to either high or low dose of Ginkgo biloba leaves extract elicited significant reduction (P<0.05) of AFP, CEA and GPC-3 in serum compared to the untreated HCC rats. Besides, histological examination of liver tissue sections of rats in HCC group revealed typical anaplasia. Interestingly, treatment with Ginkgo biloba leaves extract elicited marked improvement in the histological feature of liver tissue in HCC groups. In conclusion, this research indicated that the carcinogenic potency of N-nitrosodiethylamine targeted multiple systems on the cellular and molecular levels. In addition, the results of the current study shed light on the promising anticancer activity of Ginkgo biloba leaves extract in treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma induced chemically in the experimental model through its apoptotic and antiproliferative properties.
Keywords: AFP; CEA; Foxp-1; GPC-3; Ginkgo biloba; Hepatocellular carcinoma; ING-3; histopathology.