Effects of Allicin on the Gene Expression Profile of Mouse Hepatocytes in vivo with DNA Microarray Analysis
The major garlic component, Allicin [diallylthiosulfinate, or (R, S)-diallyldissulfid-S-oxide] is known for its medicinal effects, such as antihypertensive activity, microbicidal activity, and antitumor activity. Allicin and diallyldisulfide, which is a converted form of allicin, inhibited the cholesterol level in hepatocytes, in vivo and in vitro. The metabolism of allicin reportedly occurs in the microsomes of hepatocytes, predominantly with the contribution of cytochrome P-450. However, little is known about how allicin affects the genes involved in the activity of hepatocytes in vivo. In the present study, we used the short-term intravenous injection of allicin to examine the in vivo genetic profile of hepatocytes. Allicin up-regulate ten genes in the hepatocytes. For example, the interferon regulator 1 (IRF-I), the wingless-related MMTV (mouse mammary tumor virus) integration site 4 (wnt-4), and the fatty acid binding protein 1. However, allicin down-regulated three genes: namely, glutathione S-transferase mu6, a-2-HS glycoprotein, and the corticosteroid binding globulin of hepatocytes. The up-regulated wnt-4, IRF-1, and mannose binding lectin genes can enhance the growth factors, cytokines, transcription activators and repressors that are involved in the immune defense mechanism. These primary data, which were generated with the aid of the Atlas Plastic Mouse 5 K Microarray, help to explain the mechanism which enables allicin to act as a therapeutic agent, to enhance immunity, and to prevent cancer. The data suggest that these benefits of allicin are partly caused by the up-regulated or down-regulated gene profiles of hepatocytes. To evaluate the genetic profile in more detail, we need to use a more extensive mouse genome array.
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