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Cancer Lett. 2002 Sep 8;183(1):1-8.

Inhibitory effect of peptide Epitalon on colon carcinogenesis induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine in rats.

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Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Aging, N.N. Petrov Research Institute of Oncology, 68 Leningradskaya Street, Pesochny-2, 197758, St. Petersburg, Russia.


The effect of synthetic pineal peptide Epitalon (Ala-Glu-Asp-Gly) on colon carcinogenesis was firstly studied in rats. Eighty 2-month-old outbred male LIO rats were subdivided into four groups and were weekly exposed to five subcutaneous injections of 1,2-dimethylhydrazine (DMH) at a single dose of 21 mg/kg body weight. Additionally, 5 days a week, some of the rats were given subcutaneous injections of saline at a dose of 0.1 ml during the whole experiment (group 1, control) or Epitalon at a single dose of 1 microg during the whole experiment (group 2), Epitalon after termination of carcinogen injections (group 3) or during the period of DMH exposure (group 4). Colon carcinomas developed in 90-100% of DMH-treated rats. The number of total colon tumors per rat was 4.1; 2.7; 3.7; 2.9 in groups 1, 2, 3, 4, respectively (the difference in groups 2 and 4 compared with group 1 is significant). In rats from group 2, colon tumors were smaller than in control animals. In group 2, the incidence, as well the multiplicity of tumors in ascending and descending colon, were significantly decreased in comparison with group 1. In group 4, the mean number of tumors per rat was significantly decreased, too. A trend to decrease the number of tumors in the rectum in rats from groups 2, 3 and 4, treated with Epitalon was found. Epitalon inhibited also the development of tumors in jejunum and ileum. Thus, our results demonstrated an inhibitory effect of Epitalon on chemically induced bowel carcinogenesis in rats.

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