Chitosan and Mushroom Nanoparticles Improve Liver Health in Mice

Greg Howard
2nd April, 2024

Chitosan and Mushroom Nanoparticles Improve Liver Health in Mice

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In a study at Tanta University, nanoparticles were used to treat liver damage in mice with Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC)
  • The nanoparticles improved liver function, boosted antioxidant levels, and reduced cell death in the treated mice
  • These findings suggest nanoparticles loaded with natural compounds could protect vital organs in cancer therapy
Cancer remains a formidable health challenge, and scientists are relentlessly exploring new avenues for treatment beyond traditional chemotherapy. One such direction involves the use of natural compounds and innovative drug delivery systems to combat cancer's detrimental effects on the body, particularly on vital organs like the liver. Researchers at Tanta University have recently conducted a study[1] that delves into this approach, examining how chitosan nanoparticles (CS NPs) and Grifola Frondosa nanoparticles (GF-loaded casein NPs) can mitigate liver damage caused by Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) in mice. EAC is a fast-growing cancer that can lead to oxidative stress and liver toxicity. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body, which can lead to cell and tissue damage. This condition is particularly concerning because the liver is central to detoxification and metabolism. When liver cells are damaged or stressed, it can result in increased levels of liver enzymes, such as ALT, AST, and ALP, and a disruption in lipid metabolism, evidenced by changes in LDL, cholesterol, and triglycerides. The study involved 60 female albino mice divided into six groups, with one serving as a control and another exposed to EAC to establish the model of hepatic injury. The remaining groups were used to assess the therapeutic potential of CS NPs and GF-loaded casein NPs. The results were telling: EAC led to a significant rise in serum liver enzyme activities and lipid levels, coupled with a marked decrease in proteins such as albumin, which are critical for maintaining blood volume and pressure. Furthermore, EAC reduced levels of antioxidants like GSH and catalase, while increasing MDA, a marker of oxidative stress. DNA damage and cell death were also observed, as indicated by changes in the expression of proteins involved in apoptosis, such as Bcl-2 and p53. The good news is that treatment with CS NPs and GF-loaded casein NPs showed a protective effect. These therapies improved liver function, increased antioxidant levels, and reduced cell death in the EAC mice. This suggests that these nanoparticles possess qualities that can shield liver cells from the harmful effects of EAC. This study builds on previous research that has explored the use of natural substances and their derivatives in cancer treatment. For instance, a study[2] on Annona squamosa leaf extract, loaded into niosomes, demonstrated anticancer properties and improved liver and kidney function. These findings align with the current study's results, where natural compound-loaded nanoparticles showed protective effects against cancer-induced organ damage. Additionally, the role of melatonin, a hormone with antioxidant properties, has been investigated in the context of cancer. Research[3] has shown that melatonin supplementation can counteract tumor growth and promote cancer cell death through various signaling pathways. This further supports the idea that natural antioxidants can play a significant role in cancer therapy. Lastly, the use of animal models to study cancer cachexia, a syndrome characterized by muscle wasting and weight loss, has provided insights into the systemic effects of cancer. A study[4] using the EAC model in mice replicated some of the cachexia seen in human cancer patients, highlighting the relevance of these models in preclinical research. In conclusion, the study from Tanta University contributes to the growing body of evidence that natural compounds and advanced drug delivery systems like nanoparticles can offer new hope in the fight against cancer. By focusing on the protective effects against liver damage, this research opens the door to potential therapies that not only target the tumor itself but also safeguard the patient's organ function, potentially improving quality of life and outcomes in cancer treatment.



Main Study

1) Chitosan and Grifola Frondosa nanoparticles insulate liver dysfunction in EAC-bearing mice.

Published 1st April, 2024

Related Studies

2) Annona squamosa L. Extract-Loaded Niosome and Its Anti-Ehrlich Ascites' Carcinoma Activity.

3) Melatonin: A regulator of the interplay between FoxO1, miR96, and miR215 signaling to diminish the growth, survival, and metastasis of murine adenocarcinoma.

4) Solid Ehrlich carcinoma reproduces functional and biological characteristics of cancer cachexia.

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