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


The present study was planned to investigate the role of sex hormone receptor gene expression in thepathogenesis 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 forthe 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, whereasgroups (3) and (4) were orally administered only curcumin and carvacrol, respectively. The HCC group showedsignificant upregulation in the androgen receptor (AR) and the estrogen receptor-alpha (ERα) gene expressionlevels in the liver tissue. On the contrary, HCC groups treated with either curcumin or carvacrol showedsignificant downregulation in AR and ERα gene expression levels in the liver tissue. In conclusion, the obtaineddata highlight that both AR and ERα but not estrogen receptor-beta (ERβ) gene expression may contribute tothe male prevalence of HCC induced in male rats. Interestingly, both curcumin and carvacrol were found tohave a promising potency in alleviating the male predominating HCC.