Implications of Sex Hormone Receptor Gene Expression in the Predominance of Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Males: Role of Natural Products

  • Ahmed, Hanaa H (Hormones Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Centre) ;
  • Shousha, Wafaa Gh (Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Helwan University) ;
  • Shalby, Aziza B (Hormones Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Centre) ;
  • El-Mezayen, Hatem A (Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Helwan University) ;
  • Ismaiel, Nora N (Molecular Genetics and Enzymology Department, Human Genetics and Genome Research, National Research Centre) ;
  • Mahmoud, Nadia S (Hormones Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Centre)
  • Published : 2015.07.13


The present study was planned to investigate the role of sex hormone receptor gene expression in the pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Adult male Wistar rats were divided into seven groups. Group (1) was negative control. Groups (2), (5), (6), and (7) were orally administered with N-nitrosodiethylamine for the induction of HCC, then group (2) was left untreated, group (5) was orally treated with curcumin, group (6) was orally treated with carvacrol, and group (7) was intraperitoneally injected with doxorubicin, whereas groups (3) and (4) were orally administered only curcumin and carvacrol, respectively. The HCC group showed significant upregulation in the androgen receptor (AR) and the estrogen receptor-alpha ($ER{\alpha}$) gene expression levels in the liver tissue. On the contrary, HCC groups treated with either curcumin or carvacrol showed significant downregulation in AR and $ER{\alpha}$ gene expression levels in the liver tissue. In conclusion, the obtained data highlight that both AR and $ER{\alpha}$ but not estrogen receptor-beta ($ER{\beta}$) gene expression may contribute to the male prevalence of HCC induced in male rats. Interestingly, both curcumin and carvacrol were found to have a promising potency in alleviating the male predominating HCC.


Hepatocellular carcinoma;male;androgen receptor;estrogen receptor;curcumin;carvacrol


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