Effects of Sho-saiko-to on hepatocarcinogenesis and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine formation



Oxidative stress plays an important role in hepatocarcinogenesis. Although Sho-saiko-to (TJ-9), a Japanese herbal medicine which has been recently administered to patients with chronic liver disease in Japan, prevents hepatocarcinogenesis, the mechanism by which TJ-9 protects against cancer development is not fully understood. 8-Hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a DNA adduct by reactive oxygen species, is known as a parameter of genetic risk for hepatocarcinogenesis. To clarify whether the preventive effect on hepatocarcinogenesis by TJ-9 is dependent on 8-OHdG, the effect on 8-OHdG levels by TJ-9 was examined by using high-performance liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS) in a diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-induced hepatocarcinogenesis model of male Fisher rats. TJ-9 reduced the number of preneoplastic cells, detected as the glutathione S transferase P (GST-P)–positive hepatocytes, and inhibited the development of liver tumors. TJ-9 also significantly decreased the formation of 8-OHdG, as indicated by LC-MS and immunohistochemical analysis. In addition, ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity and the number of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-positive cells were not altered. An electron paramagnetic resonance spin-trapping technique showed that TJ-9 scavenges hydroxyl radicals in a dose-dependent manner. In conclusion, the results of the present study suggest that TJ-9 prevents hepatocarcinogenesis in association with inhibition of 8-OHdG formation.