Agaricus blazei (Himematsutake) does not alter the development of rat diethylnitrosamine-initiated hepatic preneoplastic foci
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The modifying potential of crude extracts of the mushroom Agaricus blazei Murrill (Himematsutake) on the development and growth of glutathione S-transferase placental form (GST-P)-positive liver foci (liver preneoplastic lesion) was investigated in adult male Wistar rats. Six groups of animals were used. Groups 2 to 5 were given a single i.p. injection of 200 mg/kg b.w. of diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and groups 1 and 6 were treated with saline at the beginning of the experiment. After 2 weeks, animals of groups 3 to 6 were orally treated with three dose levels of aqueous extracts of the mushroom A. blazei (1.2, 5.6, 11.5, and 11.5 mg/ml of dry weight of solids) for 6 weeks. All animals were subjected to two-thirds partial hepatectomy at week 3 and sacrificed at week 8. Two hours before sacrifice, ten animals of each group were administered a single i.p injection of 100 mg/kg of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU). Apoptotic bodies and BrdU-positive hepatocyte nuclei were quantified in liver sections stained for hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) (eosinophilic foci) and simultaneously stained for GST-P expression (GST-P-positive foci), respectively. The 6-week treatment with A. blazei did not alter the development (number and size) of GST-P-positive foci and did not affect the growth kinetics of liver normal parenchyma or foci in DEN-initiated animals. Our results indicate that the treatment with aqueous extracts of the mushroom A. blazei during the post-initiation stage of rat liver carcinogenesis does not exert any protective effect against the development of GST-P-positive foci induced by DEN. (Cancer Sci 2003; 94: 188-192).