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Inhal Toxicol. 2004 Oct-Nov;16(11-12):763-70.

Chemoprevention of tobacco smoke-induced lung tumors by inhalation of an epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) aerosol: a pilot study.

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Center for Health and the Environment and Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.


We investigated whether inhalation of aerosolized epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) would prevent the development of lung tumors produced by tobacco smoke (TS). Male strain A/J mice were exposed for 5 mo, 6 h/day, 5 days/wk, to a mixture of tobacco sidestream and mainstream smoke. At the end of this exposure, 3 groups were formed: (a) mice exposed to TS and left undisturbed in air; (b) animals exposed to TS and given EGCG aerosol by nose-only inhalation for 30 min per session; and (c) animals exposed to TS and then exposed by nose-only inhalation to water aerosol without any EGCG (sham-exposed group). Three similar groups were formed from animals that previously had been kept in filtered air. In experiment 1, the EGCG concentration in the aerosol was 80 microg/L and administered 3 times a week and in experiment 2 it was 191 microg/L administered twice a week. Inhalation of EGCG did not modulate TS-induced tumorigenesis. In two accompanying positive control experiments, animals treated with the tobacco-specific carcinogen NNK [4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone] were given the same EGCG or water aerosol treatment. In both experiments, EGCG aerosol significantly reduced lung tumor multiplicity by 20% to 30% However, exposure of NNK-treated animals to water solvent alone (sham exposure) produced an even greater reduction in tumor multiplicities (40%). A reduction of lung tumor multiplicities was also observed in animals exposed nose-only once or five times a week to either water aerosols or to filtered air. It is concluded that water-soluble chemopreventive agents that need to be ingested in comparatively high doses are not the most suitable candidates for administration by inhalation.

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