Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Nutr. 2014 Jun;53(4):1139-43. doi: 10.1007/s00394-013-0626-3. Epub 2013 Nov 26.

Pubertal supplementation of lipotropes in female rats reduces mammary cancer risk by suppressing histone deacetylase 1.

Author information

Department of Animal Sciences, North Dakota State University, 1300 Albrecht Avenue, Fargo, ND, 58102, USA,



The time from puberty to the first pregnancy is known to be important for a woman's life-time breast cancer risk. Recent studies suggest that epigenetic mechanisms may involve pubertal maturation processes, which can affect the risk of breast cancer in later life. Epigenetic alterations are related to lipotropes (methionine, choline, folate, and vitamin B12), which are methyl donors and cofactors. However, the effects of pubertal supplementation of lipotropes in breast cancer remain largely unknown.


Twenty female Sprague-Dawley rats, aged 6 weeks, were divided into two groups and fed a normal control diet or a lipotrope-fortified diet formulated to provide five times basal levels of lipotropes during puberty. All rats were injected intraperitoneally with N-nitroso-N-methylurea at 50 days of age to induce mammary tumors.


Tumor multiplicity and tumor volume decreased significantly as a result of lipotrope supplementation. Interestingly, quantitative RT-PCR revealed significantly decreased expression of histone deacetylase 1 (Hdac1) and DNA methyltransferase 1 (Dnmt1) genes in tumor tissues of the rats supplemented with lipotrope-fortified diet, suggesting that reduced risk of breast cancer can be attributed, at least in part, to decreased expression of these two genes.


This study demonstrates that supplementation of lipotrope-fortified diet during puberty suppresses tumor growth, potentially through down-regulating Hdac1 and Dnmt1 gene expression. Our findings suggest that pubertal methyl diet plays an important role in the etiology of breast cancer, and further studies are warranted to develop preventative strategies against breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center