The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-cancer property of grape seed extract (GSE) during early stages of developing liver cancer using a two-stage carcinogenic model combining diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and 2-Acetyl Aminofluorene (2-AAF). Administration of GSE at doses 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg per day started at the beginning of promotion periods and continued for 14 weeks. GSE dramatically inhibited pre-neoplastic foci formation as well as significantly decreased the number and the area of placental glutathione-S-transferase in livers of DEN-2AAF-treated rats by approximately 4 & 10 fold deductions, respectively. GSE's effects were associated with induced apoptosis, reduced cell proliferation, decreased oxidative stress and down regulation of histone deacetylase activity and inflammation makers, such as cyclooxygenase 2, inducible nitric oxide synthase, nuclear factor-kappa B-p65 and p-phosphorylated tumor necrosis factor receptor expressions in liver. GSE treatment also decreased the viability of HepG2 cells and induced early and late apoptosis through activating caspase-3 and Bax. Furthermore, GSE induced G2/M and G1/S cell cycle arrest. The present study provides evidence that the GSE's anticancer effect is mediated through the inhibition of cell proliferation, induction of apoptosis, modulating oxidative damage and suppressing inflammatory response.
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