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Exp Ther Med. 2013 Jan;5(1):17-22. Epub 2012 Nov 1.

Oral administration of monogalactosyl diacylglycerol from spinach inhibits colon tumor growth in mice.

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Laboratory of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Department of Nutritional Science, Kobe-Gakuin University, Kobe, Hyogo 651-2180;


Previously, we observed that purified monogalactosyl diacylglycerol (MGDG), a major glycoglycerolipid from spinach, selectively inhibits the activities of mammalian replicative DNA polymerases (α, δ and ε). However, the function of MGDG following ingestion is not well-known. In the present study, spinach MGDG suppressed the proliferation of Colon26 mouse colon cancer cells with an LD(50) of 24 μg/ml in vitro. γ-cyclodextrin (CD)-MGDG complex was prepared and administered orally following Colon26 mouse tumor adhesion for 26 days. It was observed that 20 mg/kg equivalent (eq.) of the CD-MGDG complex reduced tumor volume by ∼60% compared with that of the vehicle-treated controls. In immunohistochemical analysis, the CD-MGDG complex group showed a decreased number of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA)-positive cells and reduction of mitosis in the tumor cells compared with the control group. In addition, the CD-MGDG complex increased the number of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL)-positive apoptotic cells and inhibited CD31-positive tumor blood vessel growth significantly. These results suggest that MGDG has the potential for cancer prevention and health promotion.

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