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Nutr Cancer. 2001;41(1-2):98-103.

Inhibition by white tea of 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine-induced colonic aberrant crypts in the F344 rat.

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Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.


There is growing interest in the potential health benefits of tea, including the anticarcinogenic properties. We report here that white tea, the least processed form of tea, is a potent inhibitor of 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP)-induced colonic aberrant crypts in the rat. Male Fischer 344 rats were treated for 8 wk with white tea (2% wt/vol) or drinking water alone, and on alternating days in experimental Weeks 3 and 4 the animals were given PhIP (150 mg/kg body wt p.o.) or vehicle alone. At the end of the study there were 5.65 +/- 0.81 and 1.31 +/- 0.27 (SD) aberrant crypt foci per colon in groups given PhIP and PhIP + white tea, respectively (n = 12, P < 0.05). No changes were detected in N-acetyltransferase or arylsulfotransferase activities compared with controls, but there was marked induction of ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase, methoxyresorufin O-demethylase, and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase after treatment with white tea. Western blot revealed corresponding increases in cytochrome P-450 1A1 and 1A2 proteins. Enzyme assays and Western blot also revealed induction of glutathione S-transferase by white tea. There was less parent compound and 4'-hydroxy-PhIP but more PhIP-4'-O-glucuronide and PhIP-4'-O-sulfate in the urine from rats given PhIP + white tea than in urine from animals given carcinogen + drinking water. The results indicate that white tea inhibits PhIP-induced aberrant crypt foci by altering the expression of carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes, such that there is increased ring hydroxylation at the 4' position coupled with enhanced phase 2 conjugation.

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