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Chem Biol Interact. 2005 Feb 28;152(1):49-58.

Augmented efficacy of tamoxifen in rat breast tumorigenesis when gavaged along with riboflavin, niacin, and CoQ10: effects on lipid peroxidation and antioxidants in mitochondria.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, Dr. A.L. Mudaliar Post-Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Madras, Taramani Campus, Chennai 600 113, India.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a major role in causing mitochondrial changes linked to cancer and metastasis. Uptake of antioxidants by tissue to reduce the ROS production could be instrumental in controlling cancer. Tamoxifen (TAM), a nonsteroidal anti-estrogen drug most used in the chemotherapy and chemoprevention of breast cancer. Riboflavin, niacin and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) are proved to be potent antioxidants and protective agents against many diseases including cancer. The objective of this research is to determine the therapeutic efficacy of combinatorial therapy on mammary carcinoma bearing rats in terms of the mitochondrial lipid peroxidation and antioxidant status especially MnSOD. Female albino rats of Sprague-Dawley strain were selected for the investigation. Mammary carcinoma was induced with 7,12-dimethyl benz(a)anthracene (DMBA: 25 mg), and the treatment was started by the oral administration of TAM (10 mg/kg body weight/day) along with riboflavin (45 mg/kg body weight/day), niacin (100 mg/kg body weight/day) and CoQ10 (40 mg/kg body weight/day) for 28 days. The levels of lipid peroxides, activities of enzymic and non-enzymic antioxidants were measured in the mitochondria isolated from the mammary gland and liver of control and experimental rats. Rats treated with DMBA showed an increase in mitochondrial lipid peroxidation (mammary gland 52.3%; liver 25.1%) accompanied by high malondialdehyde levels along with lowered activities of mitochondrial enzymic antioxidants [superoxide dismutase (mammary gland 19.9%; liver 24.8%), catalase (mammary gland 50%; liver 19.7%), glutathione peroxidase (mammary gland 47.8%; liver 31.1%)] and non-enzymic antioxidants [reduced glutathione (mammary gland 14.3%; liver 13.3%), Vitamin C (mammary gland 6.49%; liver 21.4%) and E (mammary gland 20.3%; liver 22.2%)]. Administration of combinatorial therapy restored lipid peroxide level and the activities of enzymic and non-enzymic antioxidants to near normalcy. In addition, antitumour activity was also found to be enhanced which is evident from the increased expression of tumour suppressor gene MnSOD thereby preventing cancer cell proliferation. These results suggested that TAM treatment is the most effective during co-administration of riboflavin, niacin and CoQ10 in terms of mitochondrial antioxidant and antitumour activity.

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