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Oral Oncol. 2002 Jul;38(5):431-6.

Garlic induces apoptosis during 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced hamster buccal pouch carcinogenesis.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, India.


The apoptosis-inducing capacity of aqueous garlic extract during 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced hamster buccal pouch (HBP) carcinogenesis was investigated in male Syrian hamsters using DNA fragmentation and the apoptosis-associated proteins, tissue transglutaminase (tTG) and Bcl-2. Hamsters were divided into four groups of six animals each. Animals in group 1 were painted with a 0.5% solution of DMBA in liquid paraffin on the right buccal pouches three times a week for 14 weeks. Group 2 animals painted with DMBA as in group 1, in addition received 250 mg/kg body weight aqueous garlic extract orally on days alternate to DMBA application. Group 3 animals received garlic extract as in group 2. Group 4 animals received neither DMBA nor garlic extract and served as the control. The experiment was terminated at the end of 14 weeks. Administration of aqueous garlic extract (250 mg/kg body weight) to animals painted with DMBA inhibited DMBA-induced oral carcinogenesis as revealed by the absence of neoplasms, induction of tTG and inhibition of Bcl-2 expression. The results of the present study suggest that garlic may exert its chemopreventive effect by inducing apoptosis.

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