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Carcinogenesis. 1998 Oct;19(10):1789-94.

The effects of phenethyl isothiocyanate, N-acetylcysteine and green tea on tobacco smoke-induced lung tumors in strain A/J mice.

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  • 1Institute of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Division of Statistics, College of Letters and Sciences, University of California, Davis 95616-8615, USA.


Male and female strain A/J mice were exposed to a mixture of cigarette sidestream and mainstream smoke at a chamber concentration of total suspended particulates of 82.5 mg/m3. Exposure time was 6 h/day, 5 days/week for 5 months. The animals were allowed to recover for another 4 months in filtered air before sacrifice and lung tumor count. Male animals were fed either 0.2% N-acetylcysteine (NAC) or 0.05% phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) in diet AIN-76A with 5% corn oil added. Female animals received normal laboratory chow and were given a 1.25% extract of green tea in the drinking water. Corresponding control groups were fed diets without NAC or PEITC or given plain tap water. Exposure to tobacco smoke increased lung tumor multiplicity to 1.1-1.6 tumors/lung, significantly higher than control values (0.5-1.0 tumors/lung). None of the putative chemopreventive agents (NAC, PEITC or green tea extract) had a protective effect. In positive control experiments, PEITC significantly reduced both lung tumor multiplicity and incidence in mice treated with the tobacco smoke-specific carcinogen 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK). In mice treated with three different doses of urethan and fed NAC in the diet, a significant reduction in lung tumor multiplicity was found only at one dose level. Green tea extract did not reduce lung tumor multiplicity in animals treated with a single dose of NNK. It was concluded that successful chemoprevention of tobacco smoke-induced lung tumorigenesis might require administration of several chemopreventive agents rather than just a single one.

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