Exercise training and some herbal components have an anticancer function and can suppress tumor growth. However, the role of these protective factors in altering breast cancer–related gene expression is still unknown. Thus, this study aimed to assess the effect of 4 wk of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and saffron (Crocus sativus L.) aqueous extract (SAE) on Sirtuin-1 (SIRT1), human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), and p53 gene expression in female mice breast tumor tissue induced by 4T1 cell line.
This study was performed on female BALB/c mice. The 4T1 breast cancer cells were subcutaneously implanted, and mice were randomly sorted into the following groups: control, HIIT, SAE, HIIT + SAE (n = 10 mice per group), and sham (n = 4 mice per group). Mice were sacrificed at the end of the intervention period, and the expression of SIRT-1, hTERT, and p53 was determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction.
The mRNA level of SIRT1 was increased in the HIIT + SAE group compared with the HIIT and control groups (P = 0.007 and P = 0.03, respectively). Moreover, the amount of mRNA of p53 was increased after a 4-wk HIIT compared with the control and HIIT + SAE groups in tumor tissue (P = 0.03 and P = 0.02, respectively). No change was found in the mRNA expression of hTERT between groups (P = 0.92).
These findings suggest that HIIT may reduce tumor burden through the upregulation of p53 associated with tumor suppression pathway. In contrast, the combination of HIIT and SAE did not alter p53 and SIRT1 expression levels and may suppress tumor growth by other mechanisms.