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Nutr Cancer. 2012;64(5):732-40. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2012.687425. Epub 2012 May 29.

Hepatic vitamin A preloading reduces colorectal cancer metastatic multiplicity in a mouse xenograft model.

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  • 1School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Nutrition and Foods Program, Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas 78666, USA.


Previous research in our laboratory showed that retinol inhibited all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)-resistant human colon cancer cell invasion via a retinoic acid receptor-independent mechanism in vitro. The objective of the current study was to determine if dietary vitamin A supplementation inhibited metastasis of ATRA-resistant colon cancer cells in a nude mouse xenograft model. Female nude mice (BALB/cAnNCr-nu/nu, n = 14 per group) consumed a control diet (2,400 IU retinyl palmitate/kg diet) or a vitamin A supplemented diet (200,000 IU retinyl palmitate/kg diet) for 1 mo prior to tumor cell injection to preload the liver with vitamin A. HCT-116, ATRA-resistant, human colon cancer cells were intrasplenically injected. Mice continued to consume their respective diets for 5 wk following surgery. Consumption of supplemental vitamin A decreased hepatic metastatic multiplicity to 17% of control. Hepatic and splenic retinol and retinyl ester concentrations were significantly higher in the mice supplemented with vitamin A when compared to mice consuming the control diet. Supplemental vitamin A did not decrease body weight, feed intake, or cause toxicity. Thus, supplemental dietary vitamin A may decrease the overall number of hepatic metastasis resulting from colon cancer.

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