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Nutr Cancer. 1997;27(2):210-5.

Effect of dietary phytosterols on cell proliferation and protein kinase C activity in rat colonic mucosa.

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Nutrition Program, State University of New York at Buffalo 14214, USA.


The present study investigated the role of phytosterols in colonic cell proliferation and examined the possible role of protein kinase C (PKC) in this process. A total of 18 male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 240-270 g were fed, for a period of 22 days, one of three experimental diets: a control diet, a diet supplemented with 0.2% cholic acid, or a diet supplemented with 0.2% cholic acid + 2% dietary phytosterols. Two hours before decapitation, animals were injected with 5'-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU, 50 mg/kg body wt ip). Cell proliferation in the proximal colon was measured using a monoclonal antibody to BrdU. PKC activity in the proximal colonic mucosa was assayed using a myelin basic protein as a substrate. Cell proliferation was significantly increased by 276% with 0.2% cholic acid feeding compared with controls. The presence of 2% phytosterols in the diet abolished the cholic acid-induced hyperplasia. Cholic acid induced a 31% expansion of the proliferative zone. Only the cytosolic PKC was significantly lower in the phytosterol-fed group. Neither the total PKC nor the particulate PKC demonstrated an effect of phytosterols on enzyme activity. In conclusion, we found that dietary supplementation with 2% phytosterol has a significant protective effect on enhanced cell proliferation and that this effect is not mediated through the PKC system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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