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Ulva lactuca polysaccharides prevent Wistar rat breast carcinogenesis through the augmentation of apoptosis, enhancement of antioxidant defense system, and suppression of inflammation

Authors Abd-Ellatef GF, Ahmed OM, Abdel-Reheim ES, Abdel-Hamid AZ

Received 19 October 2016

Accepted for publication 30 November 2016

Published 27 February 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 67—83


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar

Video abstract presented by Gamal-Eldein F Abd-Ellatef.

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Gamal-Eldein F Abd-Ellatef,1 Osama M Ahmed,2 Eman S Abdel-Reheim,2 Abdel-Hamid Z Abdel-Hamid,1

1Pharmaceutical and Drug Industries Research Division, Therapeutic Chemistry Department, National Research Centre, Cairo, Egypt; 2Division of Physiology, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt

Background: Recently, several research studies have been focused on the isolation and function of the polysaccharides derived from different algal species, which revealed multiple biological activities such as antioxidant and antitumor activities. This study assesses the possible breast cancer chemopreventive properties of common seaweeds, sea lettuce, Ulva lactuca (ulvan) polysaccharides using in vitro bioassays on human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) and an in vivo animal model of breast carcinogenesis.
Methods: Cytotoxic effect of ulvan polysaccharides on MCF-7 was tested in vitro. For an in vivo investigation, a single dose of 25 mg/kg body weight 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) and ulvan polysaccharides (50 mg/kg body weight every other day) for 10 weeks were administered orally to the Wistar rats.
Results: Deleterious histopathological alterations in breast tissues including papillary cyst adenoma and hyperplasia of ductal epithelial lining with intraluminal necrotic materials and calcifications were observed in the DMBA-administered group. These lesions were prevented in the DMBA-administered group treated with ulvan polysaccharides. The immunohistochemical sections depicted that the treatment of DMBA-administered rats with ulvan polysaccharides markedly increased the lowered pro-apoptotic protein, p53, and decreased the elevated anti-apoptotic marker, bcl2, expression in the breast tissue. The elevated lipid peroxidation and the suppressed antioxidant enzyme activities in DMBA-administered control were significantly prevented by the treatment with ulvan polysaccharides. The elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α and nitric oxide were significantly ameliorated in DMBA-administered rats treated with ulvan polysaccharides as compared to DMBA-administered control.
Conclusion: In conclusion, ulvan polysaccharides at the level of initiation and promotion might have potential chemopreventive effects against breast carcinogenesis. These preventive effects may be mediated through the augmentation of apoptosis, suppression of oxidative stress and inflammation, and enhancement of antioxidant defense system.

Keywords: breast carcinogenesis, cancer initiation, cancer promotion, Ulva lactuca polysaccharides, DMBA, oxidative stress, apoptosis

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