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Fitoterapia. 2001 Dec;72(8):865-74.

Chemopreventive efficacy of lycopene on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced hamster buccal pouch carcinogenesis.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Annamalai University, Annamalainagar-608 002, Tamil Nadu, India.


The chemopreventive efficacy of lycopene on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced hamster buccal pouch (HBP) carcinogenesis was examined using lipid peroxidation, reduced glutathione (GSH), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and glutathione reductase (GR) as biomarkers of chemoprevention. Twenty four male Syrian hamsters were divided into four groups of six animals each. The right buccal pouches of the animals in group 1 were painted with a 0.5% solution of DMBA in liquid paraffin three times a week. The animals in group 2 were painted with DMBA as in group 1 and in addition received 2.5 mg/kg body weight lycopene orally three times a week on days alternate to DMBA application. Group 3 animals received lycopene as in group 2. Animals in group 4 received neither DMBA nor lycopene and served as control. The hamsters were killed after an experimental period of 14 weeks. Biochemical measurements were carried out in tumour and normal tissues. All hamsters painted with DMBA alone for 14 weeks developed well-differentiated squamous cell carcinomas. Diminished lipid peroxidation in the oral tumour tissue was accompanied by a significant increase in the levels of GSH, GPx, GST and GR. Administration of lycopene significantly suppressed DMBA-induced oral carcinogenesis as revealed by the absence of carcinomas. The results of the present study suggest that lycopene may exert its chemopreventive effects by modulating lipid peroxidation and enhancing the activities of the enzymes in the glutathione redox cycle.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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