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Nutr Cancer. 1999;34(1):36-41.

Oral niacin prevents photocarcinogenesis and photoimmunosuppression in mice.

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Arizona Cancer Center, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson 85724, USA.


Topical nicotinamide (niacinamide) has demonstrable preventive activity against photocarcinogenesis in mice. To better understand how this vitamin prevents ultraviolet (UV) carcinogenesis, we tested systemic administration of another form of the vitamin, niacin, and its capacity to elevate cutaneous nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide (NAD) content as well as to decrease photoimmunosuppression and photocarcinogenesis. BALB/cAnNTacfBR mice were fed the AIN-76A diet supplemented with 0%, 0.1%, 0.5%, or 1.0% niacin throughout the experiment. UV irradiation consisted of five 30-minute exposures per week to banks of six FS40 Westinghouse sunlamps for 22 weeks in the carcinogenesis experiments, yielding a total cumulative dose of approximately 1.41 x 10(6) Jm-2 of UV-B radiation. Dietary supplementation with 0.1%, 0.5%, or 1.0% niacin reduced the control incidence of skin cancer from 68% to 60%, 48%, and 28%, respectively, at 26.5 weeks after the first UV treatment. Two potential mechanisms by which niacin prevents tumor formation were identified. Photoimmunosuppression, critical for photocarcinogenesis, is measured by a passive transfer assay. Syngeneic, antigenic tumor challenges grew to an average of 91.6 +/- 19.7, 79.8 +/- 11.5, 41.9 +/- 11.7, or 13.2 +/- 4.1 mm2 in naive recipients of splenocytes from UV-irradiated mice treated with 0%, 0.1%, 0.5%, or 1.0% niacin supplementation, respectively, demonstrating niacin prevention of immunosuppression. Niacin supplementation elevated skin NAD content, which is known to modulate the function of DNA strand scission surveillance proteins p53 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, two proteins critical in cellular responses to UV-induced DNA damage. These results clearly demonstrate a dose-dependent preventive effect of oral niacin on photocarcinogenesis and photoimmunosuppression and establish the capacity of oral niacin to elevate skin NAD levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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