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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2003 Jan;27(1):100-6.

Inhibition of alcohol-associated colonic hyperregeneration by alpha-tocopherol in the rat.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Alcohol Research, Liver Disease and Nutrition and Department of Medicine, Salem Medical Center, Heidelberg, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic alcohol consumption results in colorectal mucosal hyperregeneration, a condition associated with an increased risk for colorectal cancer. Possible mechanisms may involve the effects of acetaldehyde and/or free radicals generated during alcohol metabolism. Vitamin E is part of the antioxidative defense system, and its concentration is decreased or its metabolic utilization increased in various tissues after chronic alcohol consumption. We wondered whether alpha-tocopherol supplementation may prevent ethanol-induced colorectal cell cycle behavior and whether these changes were related to alterations in protein synthesis.

METHODS:

Five groups of male Wistar rats, each consisting of 14 animals, received liquid diets as follows: group 1, alcohol; group 2, alcohol + alpha-tocopherol; group 3, control (i.e., isocaloric glucose); group 4; control (i.e., isocaloric glucose) + alpha-tocopherol. Group 5 was fed a solid chow diet ad libitum. After 4 weeks of feeding, immunohistology was performed with anti-proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) or anti-BCL2 antibodies. Fractional (k(s)) and absolute (V(s)) rates of protein synthesis and rates of protein synthesis relative to RNA (k(RNA)) and DNA (k(DNA)) were measured with a flooding dose of L-[4-3H] phenylalanine with complementary analysis of protein and nucleic acid composition.

RESULTS:

The PCNA index was increased significantly in the colon after ethanol administration compared with controls (ethanol, 10.3 +/- 2.3 vs. control, 6.51 +/- 1.6% PCNA positive cells, p < 0.05), although neither the protein, RNA, and DNA concentrations nor k(s), k(RNA), k(DNA), and V(s) were affected. This increase in PCNA index was significantly diminished by coadministration of alpha-tocopherol (ethanol + alpha tocopherol, 7.86 +/- 1.71% PCNA positive cells, p < 0.05) without significant alterations in protein synthetic parameters. A similar result was obtained for the PCNA index in the rectal mucosa (ethanol, 14.6 +/- 4.4 vs. control, 12.1 +/- 4.2% PCNA positive cell), although this did not reach statistical significance. Neither ethanol nor alpha tocopherol feeding had any significant effect on BCL-2 expression in the colorectal mucosa. As with the colon, protein synthetic parameters in the mucosa were not affected by alcohol feeding at 4 weeks. These effects on colonic cell turnover without corresponding changes in protein synthesis thus represent a specific localized phenomenon rather than a general increase in anabolic processes in the tissue and reaffirm the hyperregenerative properties of chronic alcohol consumption.

CONCLUSIONS:

Alcohol-associated hyperproliferation could be prevented, at least in part, by supplementation with alpha-tocopherol. This may support the hypothesis that free radicals are involved in the pathogenesis of alcohol-associated colorectal hyperproliferation.

PMID:
12544013
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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