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Cancer Lett. 1998 Dec 25;134(2):129-39.

The chemopreventive role of ursodeoxycholic acid in azoxymethane-treated rats: suppressive effects on enhanced group II phospholipase A2 expression in colonic tissue.

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Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba City, Ibaraki, Japan.


Great interest has been focused on the chemoprevention of colonic carcinogenesis by oral administration of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) because its administration reportedly reduces the incidence of colon cancer in animal experiments. To elucidate the precise role of UDCA in the chemoprevention of azoxymethane-induced colon carcinogenesis, we examined the expression levels of group II phospholipase A2 in the colonic tissue of UDCA-treated and untreated rats and correlated the levels with the findings of aberrant crypt foci, putative preneoplastic lesions. Twelve weeks after azoxymethane exposure, the total number of aberrant crypt foci in 0.4% UDCA-fed rats and 1% UDCA-fed rats was significantly decreased compared to the untreated animals. The mucosal concentrations of PGE2 and 6-keto PGF1alpha were significantly lower in the UDCA-treated rats than in untreated rats. In correlation with lowering, the enhanced activity, protein mass and mRNA levels of group II phospholipase A2 were significantly attenuated in the UDCA-treated animals. The chemopreventive role of UDCA in colon carcinogenesis may lie in its modulation of the arachidonate metabolism in colonic mucosa.

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