This indicates that the anti-inflammatory effect of saffron in th

This indicates that the anti-inflammatory effect of saffron in the HCC model system could be due to blocking of NF-κB signaling. To better understand the anticancer effects of saffron,

more detailed in vitro analyses were carried out. HepG2 cells were treated with various concentrations of saffron (1-6 mg/mL) for 6, 24 and 48 hours. The MTT test showed that saffron significantly reduced the viability of HepG2 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner (Fig. 5A). For further studies, a saffron concentration of 6 mg/mL was used. IL-8 level was also shown to be reduced upon saffron treatment of HepG2 cells (Fig. 5C). To examine whether DNA-damage mediates saffron’s anticancer effect, protein level of p-H2AX, a sensor for DNA double strand breaks, was analyzed by western selleck compound blotting. HepG2 cells showed a remarkable induction of p-H2AX starting at Volasertib mw 24 hours of saffron’s treatment (Fig. 5D). The effect of saffron on cell cycle progression was also assessed using flow cytometric analysis. Saffron-treated HepG2 cells displayed an accumulation of the

cell population at the S phase starting from 6 hours (Fig. 5B). Because NF-κB signaling was inactivated in our animal model, we tested whether or not a similar saffron-dependent NF-κB inactivation persists in vitro. Thus, the presence of the phosphorylated form of the I-kappa-B protein (p-IκB) was evaluated by western blotting. Once phosphorylated, IκB is known to be rapidly degraded thereby allowing activation of the NF-κB complex through its translocation this website into the nucleus. Indeed, we found an early decrease of p-IκB protein levels in cells treated with saffron, thus confirming an early inactivation of NF-κB (Fig. 5D). Moreover, in agreement with the in vivo results, saffron treatment reduced the TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1) protein expression (Fig. 5D). This is also in accordance with the notable increase

in the active form of caspase-3 (Fig. 5D), thereby reflecting a strong proapoptotic effect of saffron. These findings were further supported by measuring the apoptotic cell fraction after saffron treatment using annexin-PI staining. Saffron induced apoptosis in HepG2 as early as 6 hours after treatment (Fig. 5E). The apoptosis induction further increased in a time dependent manner reaching 77.5% after 48 hours. These findings are in agreement with the observed pre-G1 cell population which showed a progression in the induced apoptosis by the accumulation of DNA in cells treated with saffron. Administration of saffron to DEN-treated rats caused a dramatic reduction in the number and incidence of dyschromatic nodules as well as reduced the development of neoplastic FAH.

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