Effects of crude extracts of Agaricus blazei on DNA damage and on rat liver carcinogenesis induced by diethylnitrosamine
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The effects of crude extracts of the mushroom Agaricus blazei Murrill (Agaricaceae) on both DNA damage and placental form glutathione S-transferase (GST-P)-positive liver foci induced by diethylnitrosamine (DEN) were investigated. Six groups of adult male Wistar rats were used. For two weeks, animals of groups 3 to 6 were treated with three aqueous solutions of A. blazei (mean dry weight of solids being 1.2, 5.6, 11.5 and 11.5 mg/ml, respectively). After this period, groups 2 to 5 were given a single ip injection 200 mg/kg DEN and groups 1 and 6 were treated with 0.9% NaCl. All animals were subjected to 70% partial hepatectomy at week five and sacrificed 4, 24 and 48 h or 8 weeks after DEN or 0.9% NaCl treatments (10th week after the beginning of the experiment). The alkaline comet assay and GST-P-positive liver foci development were used to evaluate the influence of the mushroom extracts on liver cell DNA damage and on the initiation of liver carcinogenesis, respectively. Previous treatment with the highest concentration of A. blazei (11.5 mg/ml) significantly reduced DNA damage, indicating a protective effect against DEN-induced liver cytotoxicity/genotoxicity. However, the same dose of mushroom extract significantly increased the number of GST-P-positive liver foci.
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