Publication: Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Effects of Carvacrol on N-Methyl-N′-Nitro-N-Nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) Induced Gastric Carcinogenesis in Wistar Rats
Carvacrol is a dietary polyphenol from Lamiaceae plants that has been shown to possess a wide range of biological activities including antioxidant and antitumor effects. This study aimed to investigate its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) induced gastric carcinogenesis in Wistar rats. Forty-nine rats were randomly assigned to four treatment and three control groups. Over 60 days, MNNG (200 mg/kg BW) was orally applied to animals of groups 1–5 while the rats in groups 2–5 also received different doses of carvacrol (10, 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg BW, respectively) until the end of the experiment. Group 6 rats were treated with 100 mg/kg BW carvacrol and no MNNG whereas group 7 was the control group without any treatment. After the euthanasia of all rats, the inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress parameters were assessed in the blood and tissues. The expression of caspase 9, Bax, and Bcl-2 proteins in the stomach tissues were investigated through histopathological examinations. Statistically significant differences were observed in the body weight, oxidative stress, and inflammation parameters of groups 1 to 6 compared to group 7 (p ≤ 0.001). Animals in MNNG groups 2 and 3 treated with the low dose carvacrol (10 and 25 mg/kg BW) showed significantly reduced oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptotic effect compared to animals of the MNNG groups receiving increased doses of carvacrol (50 and 100 mg/kg BW) or no carvacrol. Rats exposed to MNNG exhibited gastric cancer cells in several areas. In the MNNG group receiving 100 mg/kg BW carvacrol, the inflammatory cell infiltration was observed in gastric mucosal and submucosal areas whereas MNNG rats supplemented with 10 and 25 mg/kg BW carvacrol showed no pathological alterations of the gastric cells. The results of this study indicate that significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects induced by carvacrol at doses of 10 and 25 mg/kg BW interfered with gastric carcinogenesis induced by MNNG in Wistar rats as well as provide hepatoprotection. However, high doses of carvacrol (50 and 100 mg/kg BW) increased oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis.