Beneficial effects of anthocyanin-rich peels of Myrtaceae fruits on chemically-induced liver fibrosis and carcinogenesis in mice
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Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) arising from fibrosis/cirrhosis is the most common type of primary liver cancer. Conversely, a higher intake of fruits and vegetables might play a protective role in HCC risk. Recently, Myrtaceae family tropical fruits have raised great interest due to the high levels of anthocyanins especially in their peels, which are usually discarded upon consumption. Anthocyanins are antioxidant pigments known to have beneficial effects in vivo/in vitro cancer bioassays. Thus, we evaluated whether dietary Myrciaria jaboticaba, Syzygium cumini, and Syzygium malaccense fruit peel powders reduce fibrosis and hepatocarcinogenesis in mice. Female C3H/HeJ mice were submitted to the model of diethylnitrosamine/carbon tetrachloride-induced liver fibrosis and carcinogenesis. Concomitantly, mice received a basal diet containing 2% of M. jaboticaba, S. cumini, or S. malaccense fruit peel powders, obtained by convective drying, for 10 weeks. M. jaboticaba peel powder showed the highest levels of total anthocyanins, while S. cumini peel powder displayed the greatest diversity of these pigments. All Myrtaceae family peel powders reduced the serum levels of the liver injury marker alanine aminotransferase. M. jaboticaba peel feeding reduced the incidence of liver preneoplastic foci, hepatocyte proliferation (Ki-67), and the protein levels of hepato-mitogen tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). M. jaboticaba peel feeding also diminished liver lipid peroxidation and increased total glutathione levels. S. cumini peel feeding reduced hepatic collagen, lipid peroxidation, and TNF-α levels while increased catalase activity. Although S. malaccense peel powder, which displayed the lowest anthocyanin levels, decreased oxidative stress, and cytokine levels, no effects were observed on liver fibrosis or preneoplastic lesion outcomes. Findings indicate a protective effect of anthocyanin-rich M. jaboticaba and S. cumini peel powder feeding on preneoplastic lesion development and fibrosis, respectively. Results indicate that differential biological responses may be attributed to distinct anthocyanin profiles and levels, assigning a functional/market value to the underutilized peel fraction.
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