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Oncol Rep. 1999 Nov-Dec;6(6):1333-40.

Inhibition of azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci in rats by natural compounds, caffeine, quercetin and morin.

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First Department of Pathology, Kanazawa Medical University, Uchinada, Ishikawa 920-0293, Japan.


The modifying effects of dietary administration of natural compounds, caffeine, quercetin and morin, which are present in our daily food, on the development of azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colonic aberrant crypt foci (ACF) were investigated in rats and compared to that of a metabolic inhibitor of AOM, disulfiram. Male F344 rats were given s. c. injections of AOM (15 mg/kg body weight) once a week for 3 weeks to induce ACF. They also received the experimental diets containing one of test compounds (500 ppm) for 5 weeks, starting one week before the first dosing of AOM. At the termination of the study (week 5), AOM exposure produced 101.0+/-10.2 ACF/rat. Disulfiram almost completely inhibited ACF development (0.60+/-0.90, 99% reduction). Dietary administration of test compounds caused significant reduction in the frequency of ACF: caffeine (70.4+/-16.6, 30% reduction), quercetin (53.0+/-8.4, 48% reduction) and morin (37. 6+/-18.1, 63% reduction). Numbers of cells positive for proliferative cell nuclear antigen in ACF and surrounding crypts were lowered by feeding of test compounds. Feeding of these test compounds also suppressed polyamine content in the colonic mucosa and blood as did disulfiram. These findings might indicate possible chemopreventive effects of caffeine, quercetin and morin, through their modulation of cell proliferation activity in crypt cells, on colon tumorigenesis.

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