alpha carotene inhibits liver, lung cancer

Doug Skrecky (
Thu, 3 Dec 1998 09:51:54 -0800 (PST)

Tsuda H. Iwahori Y. Asamoto M. Baba-Toriyama H. Hori T. Kim DJ. Uehara N. Iigo M. Takasuka N. Murakoshi M. Nishino H. Kakizoe T. Araki E. Yazawa K.
National Cancer Center Research Institute, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.
Demonstration of organotropic effects of chemopreventive agents in multiorgan carcinogenesis models.
IARC Scientific Publications. (139):143-50, 1996. Abstract
Organotropic chemopreventive effects of three (pro)vitamins and three unsaturated fatty acids were examined using mouse and rat multiorgan carcinogenesis models. For the study of (pro)vitamins, male and female B6C3F1 mice were treated with N,N-diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) during the first 11 weeks, then from weeks 12 to 32 they received alpha-carotene (0.4 mg/mouse), beta-carotene (0.4 mg/mouse) or alpha-tocopherol (40 mg/mouse) three times a week by gavage; control mice received vehicle alone. In male mice, alpha-carotene significantly reduced liver weights, representing a reduced tumour mass (P < 0.001), and alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol significantly reduced the numbers of liver tumours (adenomas and carcinomas combined) (P < 0.001-0.01) as compared with control mice, the effects being greatest with alpha-carotene. In female mice, alpha-carotene significantly decreased the number of liver tumours (P < 0.001). In the lung, alpha-carotene and alpha-tocopherol reduced the area of lesions (hyperplasias and adenomas combined) only in males (P < 0.05). For the study of unsaturated fatty acids, F344 male rats were treated with DEN, MNU, N-butyl-N-hydroxybutylnitrosamine
(BBN), 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) and N,N-bis(2-hydroxy)propylnitrosamine
during the first 5 weeks, then from weeks 6 to 36 they were given docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6), eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5) or linoleic acid
(C18:2) at 1.0 g/rat, three times a week by gavage; control rats were treated
with oleic acid (C18:1) using the same protocol. All animals were fed a low linoleic acid and calorie-adjusted basal diet during fatty acid administration. Docosahexaenoic acid and linoleic acid reduced tumours in the large and small intestines, respectively. However, they did not influence the yield of preneoplastic liver, lung, kidney, forestomach and urinary bladder lesions. The data thus provide evidence for organotropic effects of carotenoids and unsaturated fatty acids on carcinogenesis.