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Carcinogenesis. 2006 Aug;27(8):1645-54. Epub 2006 Feb 25.

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum L.), a potential chemopreventive agent for lung cancer.

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Department of Cancer Chemoprevention, Chittarajan National Cancer Institute, 37, S.P. Mukherjee Road, Kolkata 700026, India.


Spices and flavoring plants part rich in supposedly health-promoting phytochemicals are currently receiving much attention as a possible source of cancer chemopreventive compounds. Clove, the sun-dried unopened flower bud from the plant Syzygium aromaticum L. is a commonly used spice and food flavor. In the present work we assess the chemopreventive potential of aqueous infusion of clove during benzo[a]pyrene (BP)-induced lung carcinogenesis in strain A mice. Incidence of hyperplasia, dysplasia and carcinoma in situ evident in the carcinogen control group on the 8th, 17th and 26th weeks, respectively, were effectively reduced after treatment with clove infusion. Significant reduction in the number of proliferating cells and an increased number of apoptotic cells was also noted in these BP-induced lung lesions following clove treatment. Western blotting analysis revealed that clove infusion upregulates the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins p53 and Bax, and downregulates the expression of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 in the precancerous stages. Expression of caspase 3 and its activation by clove infusion were evident from a very early stage of carcinogenesis (eighth week). Clove infusion was also found to downregulate the expression of some growth-promoting proteins, viz, COX-2, cMyc, Hras. The observations signify the chemopreventive potential of clove in view of its apoptogenic and anti-proliferative properties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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