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Mechanisms of the chemopreventive activity of pequi oil (Caryocar brasiliense Camb) in hepatocarcinogenesis and its potential antineoplastic effect on HepG2 cell line

Grant number: 16/01149-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2016
Effective date (End): November 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Animal Pathology
Principal researcher:Francisco Javier Hernandez Blazquez
Grantee:Simone Morais Palmeira
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Pequi oil has quimiopreventive activity in hepatocarcinogenesis with potential for its use in the treatment of liver cancer. Once hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a malignant disease with few effective treatment options, it is important to search for alternative therapies to combat HCC. Therefore, this project aims to: (1) evaluate in vitro the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the chemopreventive effect of pequi oil in hepatocarcinogenesis; (2) establish an in vitro model of liver carcinogenesis that will be used for evaluations of the previous goal; (3) evaluate the possible anticancer effect of pequi oil in human tumor cell line HepG2. To achieve the objectives (1) and (2) the following evaluations will be conducted: effect on intercellular communication mediated by connexins with the fluorescent marker lucifer yellow microinjection technique; study of cell proliferation by the MTT method; apoptosis study by the dye acridine orange; oil effect on intracellular ROS production, SOD, MDA and GSH-Px level by a hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) mediated oxidative stress model: assessing the gene expression of inflammatory mediators such as NF-kB, COX-2 and p53 by PCR in real time and also by immunofluorescence. To develop the experimental in vitro model of liver carcinogenesis, will be used the carcinogen aflatoxin B1. The cell cultures will be characterized as the rate of cell proliferation, apoptosis, intercellular communication mediated by gap junctions and the expression of connexins 26, 32 and 43. The treatments will be evaluated by analysis of variance (ANOVA).

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