Nabag (Zizyphus spina-christi) Extract Prevents Aberrant Crypt Foci Development in Colons of Azoxymethane-Treated Rats by Abrogating Oxidative Stress and inducing Apoptosis


Zizyphus spina-christi (ZSC) fruit is a rich source of bioactive compounds but any medicinal properties inchemoprevention of colon cancer have hitherto not been studied. The aim of the present study was to examinein vivo protective effects of ZSC water extract on colon carcinogenesis in azoxymethane (AOM)–treated rats.Our results showed that ZSC significantly reduced AOM-induced colonic aberrant crypt foci development andAOM-induced oxidative stress as indicated by restoration of endogenous glutathione depletion and abrogating theimpairment of total antioxidant capacity. Caspase-3 cleavage, which has been considered as an apoptotic index,was almost undetectable in AOM-treated rats and ZSC exhibited pro-apoptotic effects evidenced by increasedlevels of cleaved caspase-3. In the studied model, our findings provide the first in vivo evidence that ZSC extractcould inhibit the early stage of colon carcinogenesis by preventing oxidative stress and inducing apoptosis.