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Br J Cancer. 1999 Jun;80(8):1132-6.

Correlation of neomycin, faecal neutral and acid sterols with colon carcinogenesis in rats.

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Department of Chemistry, Maharaja Manindra Chandra College, Calcutta, India.


High fat diets have been implicated in incidence of colon cancer both in epidemiological and animal studies. Present investigation deals with the incidence, location and numbers of large and small bowel tumours induced by 1,2-dimethyl hydrazine (DMH) in rats fed high fat diets and neomycin. Neomycin was used to modify the faecal sterol metabolism and the relationship of the high fat diet and faecal neutral and acid sterols to the large bowel tumorigenesis was evaluated. DMH administered rats were fed with (a) 20% safflower oil; (b) 20% safflower oil and neomycin; (c) 20% safflower oil, cholesterol and cholic acid; and (d) 20% safflower oil, cholesterol, cholic acid and neomycin. Neomycin was found to be associated with both increase and decrease of tumour numbers. The faecal sterols lithocholic and deoxycholic acids were found to have no participation, while cholesterol and cholic acid were found to decrease with increase in tumour numbers. However, faecal coprostanol has been found to have a significant positive correlation with tumorigenesis in all dietary groups. Therefore coprostanol might possibly be associated with colon carcinogenesis in DMH-fed rats and cholesterol metabolism in gut appears to be related to the development of tumours.

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