Abstract| Volume 18, SUPPLEMENT 1, e303, April 2016

Saffron-based crocin prevents early lesions of liver cancer: In vivo, in vitro and in silico analyses

      Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The prognosis of patients with HCC is usually poor; hence, a novel approach against HCC is essential for a better therapeutic outcome. Saffron and its active constituents were reported to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties. The aim of this study was to investigate the chemopreventive action of crocin, one of the main active constituents of saffron, against diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-induced liver cancer in rats, and the possible mechanisms by which crocin exerts its anti-tumor effects. Findings reported herein demonstrated the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic properties of crocin when administrated in DEN-treated rats. Additionally, crocin exhibited anti-inflammatory properties where NF-kB, among other inflammatory markers, was inhibited. In vitro analysis confirmed crocin's effect in HepG2 where cell cycle was arrested at G2, apoptosis was induced and inflammation was down regulated. Network analysis identified NF-kB as a regulatory hub, and therefore, a candidate therapeutic drug target.
      Conclusion: The presented results introduce crocin as a candidate chemopreventive agent against HCC.