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Cancer Res. 1982 Feb;42(2):412-5.

Stimulation of DNA synthesis and cell proliferation in the liver of rats fed a choline-devoid diet and their suppression by phenobarbital.


Feeding of choline-devoid (CD) diet and dietary administration of phenobarbital (PHB) are efficient promoters of liver carcinogenesis in the rat. Furthermore, inclusion of PHB in a CD diet results in a synergistic effect, inasmuch as the promoting action of their combination is greater than the sum of those exerted by either agent alone. To investigate the mechanism(s) of action of the two promoters, liver DNA synthesis and liver cell proliferation were studied in rats fed a CD diet, a choline-supplemented diet, or the same diets to which 0.06% PHB was added. DNA synthesis was determined by [3H]thymidine incorporation into DNA and autoradiography, and cell proliferation was determined by mitosis counts. Feeding the CD diet caused an increase of both DBA synthesis and cell proliferation over those present in rats fed the choline-supplemented diet. Inclusion of PHB in the CD diet, on the other hand, inhibited DNA synthesis and cell proliferation. These results indicate that stimulation of cell proliferation per se may not be a sufficient condition for an agent to act as a promoter of liver carcinogenesis.

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