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Carcinogenesis. 1992 Jun;13(6):995-1000.

Effect of the chemopreventive agents piroxicam and D,L-alpha-difluoromethylornithine on intermediate biomarkers of colon carcinogenesis.

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American Health Foundation, Division of Nutritional Carcinogenesis, Valhalla, NY 10595.


Our previous studies have shown that dietary piroxicam, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and D,L-alpha-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), an ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) inhibitor, act as potential chemopreventive agents in inhibiting azoxymethane (AOM)-induced colon carcinogenesis in male F344 rats. The present study was designed to determine the effect of these chemopreventive agents on intermediate biomarkers, namely colonic epithelial cell proliferation and levels of prostaglandins, which can be used as effective predictors of colon cancer. Starting at 6 weeks of age, groups of animals were fed the control diet and experimental diets containing piroxicam or DFMO. At 7 weeks of age, all animals, except the vehicle controls, were injected s.c. with AOM at a dose level of 15 mg/kg body wt/week for 4 weeks. Vehicle controls received an equal volume of normal saline. Groups of animals were then killed at the end of last AOM or saline injection (baseline) and at week 4, 16, 24 and 32 following the last AOM or saline treatment. Animals intended for cell proliferation study were injected with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) at a dose level of 20 mg/kg body wt 1 h prior to being killed. The rate of colonic cell proliferation at all time points was assessed immunohistochemically using anti-BrdU. The levels of colonic mucosal prostaglandins were estimated by radioimmunoassay. The results indicate that carcinogen treatment increased the colonic cell proliferation measured as the crypt labeling index in proximal and distal colons and the concentrations of colonic prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and 6-keto PGF1 alpha. The data demonstrate that DFMO significantly inhibited the AOM-induced labeling index in the distal and proximal colon at all time points, whereas piroxicam slightly decreased the labeling index. On the other hand, piroxicam exerted a pronounced inhibitory effect on the levels of both PGE2 and 6-keto PGF1 alpha. DFMO suppressed the colonic PGE2 levels to a lesser degree than piroxicam. The results demonstrate that DFMO, an inhibitor of ODC, suppresses cell proliferation, whereas piroxicam, a NSAID, inhibits prostaglandins, and emphasize the need to develop agent-dependent intermediate biomarker(s) to validate the efficacy of chemopreventive agent(s) in colon carcinogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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